Why Leaders Must Learn to Coach

While I’m not a parent myself (other than to my border collie which you non-dog-loving folks won’t count as legit), I do have a great group of little friends who I adore spending time with. These are my little buddies that I take out to see the latest Disney movie, bake cookies with, get manicures, or play at the pool. My little friends are a source of delight.

Our conversations are always different from my usual priorities, and inevitably, they ask a question or two that gives me an opportunity to teach them something new. I rarely get impatient with their questions. They are still growing and still learning so I see those times as opportunities to invest in their development. I don’t expect them to know it all. They haven’t had enough experience yet.

So why is it that I don’t have the same patience with those whom I have the privilege to lead?

Oftentimes, I will find myself impatience or disappointed when I see another person not make a wise leadership decision. I expect that because I see a next step, they should, too. But that reasoning makes the assumption that all of us have the same experience and gifts.

Complementing one another’s weaknesses and strengths is what makes a great team. 

Curating a great blend of these gifts among the team members is the mark of a great leader.

Leaders don’t get impatient with gaps in experience or discernment. They either step into that space and help coach and develop the individual they are leading, or they strategically place another team member alongside the staff person who needs additional expertise.

As a leader, you’re positioned to see what others don’t yet see. You see farther than the team. That’s why you sit in the leadership seat.

So don’t become impatient with your team when they don’t see everything you see. 

It’s your job to coach them and equip them. Seize your opportunity to lead!

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by something your team did not see yet seemed obvious to you? How can you better come alongside to coach them?  

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Jenni Catron
A self-proclaimed “leadership junkie,” Jenni spends her days serving the local church. Most recently she served for nine years as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she led the staff and oversaw the ministry of its five campuses. Jenni is the founder of Cultivate Her. She loves great books, the perfect cup of tea, playing a game of tennis with her husband and hanging with her dog Mick.

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