Stop Pushing – Create Pull
Would you rather push or be pulled?
Coaching-leadership offers innovative approaches to talent development and results.
4 myths about coaching-leadership:
Myth #1. Traditional leaders tell and give answers; coaching-leaders don’t lead.
Giving answers and taking control works for robots, not talent.
Asking more questions feels awkward at first, but it’s empowering and freeing once embraced.
Myth #2. Coaching-leadership is too slow.
Coaching requires up-front investment.
The deception of traditional leadership is it’s faster and easier in the long-term. But, command and control leaders stifle initiative, create bottlenecks, and neglect talent.
Upfront investments in coaching produce long-term benefits.
Myth #3. Coaching-leadership is soft.
All leadership is about developing talent, igniting change, and producing results. The issue is how, not what.
Coaching-leaders create pull by calling people to take ownership and expecting them to rise to their potential.
Coaching isn’t naval gazing.
Coaching-leaders create pull.
Traditional leaders push – coaching-leaders create pull.
- What’s next?
- What’s holding you back?
- Who needs to be involved?
- What does success look like?
- What behaviors produce positive results?
- When are the best times to employ new behaviors? Let’s practice.
- What does progress look like?
- When can we discuss progress?
- What’s not working and what new approaches might you try?
- How can you move the ball down the field today? We don’t need a touch-down, just a first down.
Alignment with organizational values, vision, and mission keeps coaching-cultures focused.
Myth #4. Coaching-leadership is easy.
The rigors of coaching-leadership include:
- Resistance from ingrained expectations regarding traditional leadership.
- Developing new skills. Coaching-leadership confronts many traditional strategies, tactics, and techniques of traditional leadership.
- Giving others space to develop and deliver results.
One great opportunity of coaching-leadership is trusting talent to pull organizations forward.
Not all the time:
Coaching-leadership doesn’t work when:
- The house is on fire.
- Talent needs training.
- Time is short.
- External factors impede success.
- Employees are know-it-alls.
What are the challenges and opportunities of coaching-leadership?
***The four myths are adapted from, “Coaching for Engagement.”
I’m excited to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore Bob Hancox and me coming to your organization to begin developing a coaching culture in your organization.
Wau what a post!
Challenges in my opinion are:
– seeing things clear (people, skills, character and situations)
– Development of my team
– Development of myself
– Reflection on what works and what not
Thanks Dennis. The first challenge you mention is so true in my experience. I don’t always see others clearly. I’m often imposing myself on them and judging them by my strengths rather than theirs.
I do that too. We’re all different. But I am out there in the field to get the full potential out of my team members. Otherwise whats the point in being there for them. So if I impose myself on others its for the best good and has a positive intention and vibe!
“Trusting Talent to pull organizations forward” is a key point, they are the building blocks of the organization.
Thanks Tim. Sadly, once leaders start pushing people they lose motivation. As push increases pull decreases.
I’ve certainly observed the truth of today’s post in my 30+ years in industry. I first observed this phenomenon when being assigned an engineering co-op student or summer intern to work with in my early days at GM. In the first few weeks it took me more time to do the same thing I could have done without them. However, even in a short, 10 week assignment, they contributed more than I could have ever accomplished alone as I coached them.
The up front time is worth the investement. However, I find it harder to be as intentional about on-going coaching when there is not a 10 week co-op assignment in play. When it is a 10+ year career, the coaching can fall by the wayside in the routine and pressure of business. More is lost when not coaching year after year than in the 10 week window.
Thanks Paul. Your idea that we lose urgency to coach long-term people is a real wake up call. Perhaps we should start breaking the year up into employee-development-quarters. Where are we going this quarter?
Great post! I love the question “how do you move the ball down field today?” It reminds me of someone I had the opportunity to work with years ago that I considered a great coaching leader (although not at the time). He was actually a peer, but taught me so much about coaching, leading, and teaching. I didn’t realize it until later. Any time I had a problem or issue he would ask questions to find out where I was at, what I’d tried, what I was going to do next, what I would do if that didn’t work…. It was frustrating for me, initially, because I thought he knew the answer and I just wanted him to tell me to save my time and effort. What I realized (later) was that he was teaching me to think it through. He made me prove to myself that I actually had the “answers” in me all along. What a great realization that was, and what extraordinary effort it took from him (in the beginning) to develop me. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for the continued “ah-ha” moments in your daily posts. I am happy to say that you and your follower’s are part of my ‘up front investment’. Like Joel, I am reminded of the same frustration that quickly turned to a rewarding opportunity to lead and coach my subordinates. The realization of moving from the ‘hands on’ leader to a servant relationship was amazing.
This came at a great time for me. Love the questions and when not to use this model. I’ll be adding some of your wisdom to my breakout session next week on building bridges for change (with full credit of course!)! Thanks!
One of the most thoughtful post, the significant difference between traditional leadership style and modern approach. The Traditional leadership try to push the leader to achieve the targets however coach & mentor like leadership inspire by asking question. That makes the difference, a short term gain and other is long term achievement. it is obvious the incompetent leaders try to push so that they should be seen on the job, whereas the coach and mentor constantly works towards development of the leaders which many a times go unnoticed ,
Too often we are too short-term focused in our results, including people development, and default to a “push” method to reach objectives. A greater focus on long-term objectives, particularly planting a self-“pulling” mindset in colleagues (mentees?), leads to healthier results and, I think, a greater enjoyment of the mentoring role. There are a few more perspectives here: http://wp.me/p2k440-7P Another great post. Thanks.
Coaching-leadership needs to be a real commitment. I was in a situation a few years back when a colleague needed to be directly supervising someone and writing at least one performance review as a benchmark for their promotion. So I became their “project”. Fortunately, I was enough of a self-starter to get my work done without a whole lot of investment from this minimally-involved “coach.” Once the promotion happened, this person became even more scarce. Sometimes (as in this case) leadership is really only about the leader.
I’m a huge fan of your work! Today I disagree with your article. Great leaders PUSH and PULL. It’s not either/or. I’ve been in education for 18 years and have found pushing is required to get the momentum to pull. Then it is PULL, PULL, PULL.
Have a great day. Keep writing a great blog!
Jason Hewitt Ed.D.
Bastrop High School
Thanks Jason. It’s great that you expanded the conversation. Much appreciated.