Leadership is a vital need for any endeavor. Whether we are talking about a church, an organization, a working team, or a group, someone needs to step up and provide some structure. Of course, there are many types of leaders--autocratic, democratic, lassiez-faire, participative, facilitative, charismatic--to name a few.
I would like to make the case for being a coaching leader. A coaching leader is one who challenges, calls out, and encourages the best in those she or he leads. For the coaching leader to be successful, those with whom the leader works must be successful first.
What are the advantages of being a coaching leader?
1. You allow space for people to discover the strengths they bring to the table. Each of us is very different with unique skills and abilities. Rather than forcing a person to fit into a certain box in the organizational chart, the coaching leader helps the person discover how she or he can make the greatest contribution.
2. As a coaching leader, you unleash the creativity and resourcefulness of the person with whom you are working. They may provide fresh insights, perspectives, and understandings of which you are not aware.
3. If you are a coaching leader, you help a person to develop self-leadership skills. If you give people answers, they will always expect you to provide the answers. Although a leader may be tempted to do this (it does feed one’s ego), the leader should realize that once you become the answer person, you will always fill that role. As a coaching leader, you help each person to development assessment, brain-storming, problem solving, and accountability tools that will enhance their own abilities and service.
4. When you become a coaching leader, you work yourself out of a job or at least free up time to exercise your own creativity and pursue your passion or pet project. This not only expands not only your time but develops new leaders.
The dividends of being a coaching leader are many if you are willing to invest the time in people. The investment we make in others is never wasted.