Coach and Encourage
“Now watch me…pay attention…this is how you bait the hook…you begin with the worm….”
“Hold the gun to your shoulder. Hold it firmly because it’ll kick.”
“Swing the golf club for accuracy, not distance. It doesn’t matter if you hit the ball 300 yards and end up in the water. You’d rather be 220 yards and in the fairway.”
“Son, when you swing the axe, aim for the middle of the piece of wood. That will help create even pieces.”
“Never forget that when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, everyone outside the car becomes an idiot. Drive with that in mind.”
Those are things my Dad said to me. He didn’t just say them once, he repeated them over and over.
I’ll never forget what he said about his advice: “Boy, I tell you all of this so you can be the best…but be the best. You don’t want to be an average fisherman, hunter or golfer. You want to be the best.”
That was Dad. Not only did he want to be the best at whatever he did, but he also wanted his son to be the best as well. And so he coached…constantly. Even though he had taught me to hit a golf ball, he never stopped trying to help me improve my swing. He taught me how to bait a hook, read a depth finder and understand how the color of the water should determine the color of the lure you use. He could do all of that himself, but he wanted me to be even better. That’s leadership.
He saw potential in me. He knew what I could be and knew I could do better. Dad didn’t just bear down on me to improve. Instead, he’d brag on good shots, fish caught, and wood cut. He’d also coach me to be better.
As the leader, you must do the same with your team. You don’t just teach the basics and walk away. Leadership is more than just equipping people for the journey. It’s encouraging them during the journey, so they make it to the finish line.
It’s helping them improve their skill sets so things that used to take an hour can now only take 15 minutes.
The leader explains the why and not just the how. You must connect their work to a cause so that your team members develop a shared passion for what they do.
Be like Dad…constantly coach and encourage.
You’ll have a better team and you’ll be a better leader.