“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” Ambrose Redmoon
The list of those experiencing job layoffs is still growing. Daily people are informed that they will no longer be needed. Those people walk out in shock wondering why they were picked. Those that were left behind wonder why they weren’t picked. It is not easy to be either the survivor or the one that has to work the streets to find new employment. Some people have the courage to reinvent themselves and set out to create a new life. Either path it isn’t easy as it takes a great deal of courage to ford the streams of change.
People review their life and wonder why; others will review their life and give it a try. The courage to step out and try something new and risky is not for everyone. The risk of failure, of losing it all to a dream, strongly dances in the mind. Yet in spite of the risk those with an abiding passion will push forward through the worry and see it as opportunity, an opportunity that if not taken, will leave them with the question, “Why not?”.
Courage, courage to step forward and embrace the challenge with great strength and determination is reserved for those who are willing to take a risk and step far beyond their comfort zone. For those that can and do there is the opportunity for great personal reward. Courage do you have it?
“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”
What fears to you need to approach with courage today? What changes do you want to make in your life that will set you free from your fears and worries?
Respond to fear with courage. Respond to fear with tenacity. Respond to fear with your own passions. Begin to live your life, not the life that has been bounded by fear, and live it fully.
Continuing with the theme of leadership, one of the tasks of a leader is to create a compelling story for the future, a vision of what can be.
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“People are more inclined to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision. Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision.” John Kotter
John Kotter and Rosabeth Moss Kanter are respected teachers of leadership. Jonathan Swift lived between 1667 and 1745 and was the author of Gulliver’s Travels. A leader can paint a picture of the future that is compelling and vibrant. A coach on the other hand is helping the client become their own self and one of the tasks for the client would be to create a compelling vision.
“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have” Paul Arden
What is your vision?
The question of selflessness was raised in response to a prior post. The answer that I have chosen follows the path of servant-leadership.
“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious change brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant Leader, 1970
That quote by Greenleaf nearly defines the role of a coach. The goal of a coach is to enable, encourage, acknowledge and nurture change in others. The coach serves others as they develop themselves. This is true of a leader as well and the two roles, coach and leader, are distinguished only by the role. A leader is often viewed as the person in front of the crowd. The coach could be viewed as a member of the crowd that helps the leader grow in becoming a better servant. The view is that from leader the next logical step is coach, helping others become more of who they are.
The servant-coach fits this description, “Servant Leadership deals with the reality of power in everyday life – its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power.” New York Times (October 2, 1990)
Being selfless is defined as having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish (thefreedictionary.com). A servant leader, a coach in their ultimate role is an act of selflessness. Attaining the wisdom and taming the ego are two important traits that must be continually developed to be good at leadership or at coaching.
When we are prepared to ask of ourselves, “I am ready to seek a future different from the past.” we are stepping into the realm of personal and deep change. Those who are ready to seek a future that is radically different than the past may want to have a coach assist them in that transition. What does the future look like? How will I be prepared to face the new future I am creating?
Can you answer with authenticity the question, “Do I love what I see inside of me?”, if not then there is room for growth, change and new possibilities.
“My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I try not to go there alone.” Ann Lamont
Our minds can keep us from doing the right things for ourselves. The use of self-talk to hold us back and keep us where we are today is a formidable challenge to overcome.
The quote by Ann Lamont is an indicator that we can’t go it alone in many cases. In some cases we need a guide or a coach to help us keep our minds from going down the path of negative self-talk.
A coach can act as an encourager and help bring back a conversation so that it focuses on what can be rather than what was and what didn’t work in the past. It is essential to focus on where we want to be rather than where we have been.
Fall forward. Sure there are going to be times where we can get bruised and feel uncomfortable but it is in those moments that we can grow. Growing to a better self is the kind of growth that brings about joy and happiness.
Is your mind like the bad neighborhood? Do you have someone to help you through that place that you don’t want to be alone in?
Change is required.
Somewhere between 170 and 180 AD Marcus Aurelius wrote the classic “Meditations”.
He wrote about change in book seven. In this paragraph he writes about change, “We shrink from change; yet is there anything that can come into being without it? What does Nature hold dearer, or more proper to herself without it? Could you have a hot bath unless the firewood underwent some change? Could you be nourished if the food suffered no change? It is possible for any useful thing to be achieved without change? Do you not see, then, that change in yourself is of the same order, and no less necessary to Nature?”
We must recognize that growth comes with change. The catalyst to change is desire and desire is trapped in a cloud of uncertainty. The fear of change subdues the catalyst and holds us to the position we are in today. A guide or assistant is often necessary to break through the cloud of uncertainty. Achieve more, live more, and become more. Yes it will require change. Forge in your mind what you must do to make positive change happen.
Once a coach client agreement has been established and there is a contract outlining the responsibilities of the coach the work of building a relationship begins. The relationship chemistry is critical to the success of the coaching effort.
A client that reveals a less than serious attitude towards reaching their goals may not be the best client to work with. The client has to be willing to do the hard work and be willing to be held accountable to reaching their weekly or monthly goals.
The client and coach need to be able to share at a level that is open, honest and genuine. Why is this so important?
Sometimes the coach is going to ask the client to identify a stretch goal, one that is beyond their current reach. The stretch goal is what it takes to move beyond the comfortable and familiar. The outcome will of course be a new level of performance for the client. These are not stairstep events but gradual smooth and seemingly small steps. Over time the results will be evident and potentially dramatic.
“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.” Tao Te Ching 33, Translated by S. Mitchell
Posted in coach
Tagged client, coach