Good leaders are not born but made. They need someone to teach them how to become good leaders. In this Expert Insight Interview, Tom Connally discusses why every leader needs a coach. Tom Connally is a coach, speaker, author, and leader with more than 30 years of experience in US marine leadership.
The interview discusses:
- Leadership as apprenticeship
- The value of coaching
- The first steps in developing leadership
Many people still do not understand the importance of having a leadership mentor. You can read all the books in the world about leadership, but again, you will need someone to teach you in practice. Every decision you make as a leader is a new experience, so you have to possess the humility of an apprentice while leading. To be a good leader means to teach and learn something every day.
Young people get promoted to managerial positions based on their competence, but they do not get the proper training to manage people. And then, they stand up in front of others who used to be their peers and realize that they know less about managing than what they thought. Even if you get promoted for your competence, still find someone to lead you in finding your managerial style.
The Value of Coaching
Since coaching might not be the direct income-producing expenditure, people sometimes do not see its real value. But, having a coach can help you to create a culture of performance. Also, investing in leaders’ coaching is the same as investing in employees with a lower rank. A leader who is willing to share that he has a leadership coach shows a higher level of confidence, self-awareness, and honestly. Having a leadership coach is not a weakness but a strength.
The First Steps
People who want to become leaders should first determine their highest values in life. And then, when they identify what they value the most, they should bring their performance in alignment with those values. If you want to be great at something, you have to be aware that there are sacrifices and compromises to be made. Being a leader takes an everyday commitment. That is why you have to choose to be great at something that you value highly in life.
Nowadays, we tend to think that the definition of success is moving up within the company and getting the opportunity to manage others. However, that is not everyone’s dream, and in that case, it is more honest and less painful to say no to being a leader. Leadership positions can be a lonely and confusing place, and that is why you need someone externally to be able to talk about it.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.