I was recently listening to Bill Lewis’ new CD and I had a thought run through my mind in regards to coaching. A lot of times people want to sit down and be mentored in the business, and at times it can be both rewarding and frustrating for both the mentee and mentor. Tina and I have not achieved significant enough results in the business to be considered mentors. The Launching the Leadership revolution book clearly defines the mentor role beginning at the Leader or Developer of leader levels. I believe that Colby has earned a level of leadership based upon his results in producing leaders, so rightly he can teach/mentor others to do the same.
As much as we all like to assume our greatness, there is a scoreboard that does not lie. Tina and I sit down from time to time to coach a new person in the business, but that is more of an accountability check as opposed to mentoring. The new person may say I need you to motivate me, or I just don’t have a dream, or I had so much happening this week that I did not do anything. And when I hear these statements it puts me on the thin line between friend and coach. Do I provide comforting words of encouragement, or do I tell them the truth?
Jack Nicholson in the movie “A Few Good Men”, made the famous statement that “You can’t handle the truth.” Many times a person may say that they want the truth, but do they really? Do they want you to be a friend or a coach?
A friend would say…
“Maybe next week you will hit Star 500”
“You were busy this week, I know how it is”
“It’s OK, at least you made the contact, call them next Sunday”
“It’s alright to miss a Tuesday open, traffic was bad”
“As high is gas prices are… It OK to get off of System and Cancel Auto-ship”
And to be honest there will be times when we are called to be a friend to those that need friendship. There will be times when life’s curve balls will knock us down and we need encouragement to get up. Friendship should always supersede business, people should come before tasks. But there will be times as a friend where understanding is not what is needed. True friends want to see their friends move forward not wallow in the muck of complacency. True friendship requires an honest and open discussion about our lives to see whether we are using excuses or facing real challenges. Friendship becomes coaching only when one party gives the other permission to tell them the truth. Only then can it be received in the right spirit. A coach would say…
“What are you going to do next week to ensure Star 500”
“You had time to watch the game, and go bowling so why not time for your business?”
“Let’s call the contact now”
“Tuesday is a requirement if you want to grow a B-type business.
“You might have to cancel your cable so that you can afford System and Auto-ship”
A true coach has the responsibility to uncover your hidden potential that has been buried by layers of baggage, abuse, low self esteem, excuses, and fear, in order to help you achieve your goals. True coaches understand the motivating power of the whole truth.
Many of you have heard me mention my football coach Chester Jackson. He and his brother Jesse were probably the two toughest coaches in the area. They accepted no excuses, no explanations. As children our parents had “given” then permission to tell us the whole truth in no uncertain terms. Some may have heard this story before, but it bears repeating. I played middle linebacker and my responsibility on the defense was to be in on every tackle. The system was set up to keep the blockers off of me so that I could run sideline to sideline making plays. We were playing the U-City Lions and they had a kid named Nathan Booth. He was fast, strong and flat out scary as a tail back. He could out run you and run you over! It was my responsibility to bring him down, and in the first series of the game they were using him as a decoy and gaining yards like crazy. I knew what they were doing, I even knew the side that he was going to run to and I knew which hole he was going to hit. All I had to do was show up and make the tackle… Hut one, hut two and everything slowed down… The linemen kept the blockers off of me and I ran down the line watching Booth the whole time. They faked the ball to the other back and pitched the ball to Booth with a full head of steam. He and I were on a collision course in the six whole… both with a head of steam, man on man, heads up, and right at the point of impact, right before the collision I thought about how big he was, how fast he was, and how strong he was and I pretended to trip diving for his shoelaces. He galloped over the top of me for a fifty yard touchdown. My teammates never knew I took a dive, they all said good thing I did not hit him because he is so big. The fans never saw me fall because they were to busy watching Booth score. I had gotten away with not trying, I even convinced myself that it’s only a game… no need to get hurt. I told myself that I wouldn’t have made the tackle anyway. I blamed the other linebackers for not backing me up. I went home feeling good that I tried… But I had a coach who knew that I was better than that. At the next practice, he asked me about that play, and I began to make my excuses, and he stopped me and asked why weren’t you in that hole? He told me he was watching the entire play, and that he saw me fake and fall. He told me that if I ever dared to be great then I must not lie to myself. He told me that I had let down the team, the fans, and him as the coach, and if I ever did that again I would find myself on the bench. Needless to say I never tanked another play, and Coach Chester became a huge impact on my life.
You see a good coach knows what they are doing and seeks permission to tell the whole truth with the express desire to make you better for hearing the truth.
Team AO, who have you given permission to tell you the whole truth? And are you ready to hear it?