September 16, 2022
Being a Successful Leader, you view your skills as blessings which should be continuously improved. You understand one can respectfully challenge one’s own talent to gain introspection, changing your actions to continuously produce the best-out-of-yourself. Having a healthy competitive spirit is what fuels the drive to continuously improve your skills.
But what about the way you apply your skills or, said differently: You may have the skills, but have you stopped to understand and evaluate your style? As you continuously hone the technical aspects of Leadership, how often do you look to balance how your skills are landing with your audience (including your internal audience)?
Major League “Style” Lessons
I grew up in Southern California (SoCal) where it seemed every kid who played sports had a competitive-edge mentality deeply ingrained in our DNA. I was playing Baseball close to everyday when I was in my early-to-mid teens and, for one of my birthdays, my employer at-the-time hired a Professional Batting Coach to improve my batting skills.
My Coach was Tommy Davis, an ex-Los Angeles Dodger who:
· had won a World Series,
· was a 3x All-Star,
· earned 2× NL Batting Titles, and
· was an RBI Leader.
His skills proved he definitely applied his talents to become a statistical success amongst his elite peers, but his true talent (in my opinion) was in his Leadership skills as a Coach.
The Fun in Coaching the Quantum-Mechanics of the Game
Tommy meticulously worked with me on enhancing the approach of my at-bats; teaching a mindset to maintain positive mental-focus, brought balance and form to my batting stance and swing, and taught me to have a forward-looking strategic vision by anticipating the likelihood of scenarios and outcomes.
He had an eye for the Quantum-Mechanics of the game. He dedicated portions or our sessions specifically to assess how I held the bat, my finger placement, tightness of grip, and looseness of wrists. His style intertwined the “why” along with the “how” as he taught me to use my skills purposely and efficiently, learning methods to “gain time back” during those milliseconds I had to decide if (and how) I should swing.
As rigid as this sounds, he also taught and had a casual-style approach to the game, making comments like “the ‘lazier’ I felt when at-bat, the better I was able to get a hit”. He’d intuitively use analogies and visualization exercises to explain how to physically perform a task.
He also had the talent to switch-up an analogy when the message wasn’t clearly resonating with me. When he asked ‘How do you chop wood?’ and I comically (but in all seriousness) held the bat over my head, he morphed the visualization lesson into ‘Hit the hat off the little guy on the top of his head’, not making the mistake to further the Lumberjack analogy he had lined-up to use with me. He demonstrated that maintaining a healthy and positive mind, body and spirit mixed with having disciplined-talent and demonstrated skills, were some of the internal Players that make-up the Team-of-You.
How’s Your Leadership Swing, Stance, and Focus?
Applying Tommy’s teachings, take a look inwardly at the statistics of your Leadership Skills and ask:
Do I investigate and solve business issues to root-cause (a hit), or do I stop at direct-cause and continue to see the issues return (swing-and-a-miss)? Where are the areas to enhance my problem-solving skills (my swings) by maintaining a positive mental-focus towards containment and countermeasures (hits)?
Are my messages clear and concise (balanced stance), or do I find people often asking me questions for clarity and I still don’t receive the information that I’m asking of them (foul-ball)? Are the tones and inflections in my voice congruent with the words I’m saying as-well-as with the message my body-language is communicating (I didn’t even realize I was at-bat)?
Can I sense and feel the array of downstream impacts based on the decisions I make (Game-Theory)?
When I think of times where I was at the top of my game (recall your “The ‘lazier’ I felt when at-bat, the better I was able to get a hit” moments) how did I ensure I was hitting my intended Leadership targets? How can I take those wins and apply them in additional areas to strengthen my overall Professional Skills (dissect my stance and swing)?
From Rookie to All-Star Veteran
A private baseball training like the one I had as a teen isn’t just a strategy reserved for prospects trying to hone their talents. Top Professional athletes also hire Private Coaches to further refine their skills. And like a Hitting Coach, a Leadership Coach focuses on improving the efficiency of a Leader’s applied-skills. Sessions are designed to dig deep into the Leaders’ thought-processes and actions, while self-reflecting on the decisions made/not-made and to measure level of effectiveness.
Likewise, Leadership Coaching isn’t reserved solely for the seasoned Leaders in the game. New Leaders have an opportunity to use a Coach to set a solid Leadership standard and to quickly build their skill sets at the foundational level. Both new and seasoned Leaders can also utilize sessions to apply Leadership principles on general goals or to identify overall development opportunities.
Remember, You’re The One In The Batter’s Box. I Can’t Do The Swinging For You!
Successful Leadership Coaches genuinely have their client first in mind. Stellar Coaches help create actionable tasks to assist clients to continuously improve their mindset, decision-making, and exhibit genuine Leadership behaviors. If you’re thinking of, or are in the process of, hiring a Leadership Coach, it’s good to invest your time in doing research to ensure a good-fit.
Just as Coach Tommy wouldn’t be the one holding the bat when teenage Mike came up to the plate, sessions are designed for you to become more self-motivated, instilling an eagerness to work independently within.
You’ll learn how to build off of your already proven Skills, deepening their level of meaningful impact and finding additional areas where they can be applied. You’ll study the mechanics of your Skills to gain multi-dimensional understandings of challenge areas, the opportunities to learn and build from.
If you’re ready to step into Your Mental Batter’s Box and hire a Leadership Coach to hone your skills and accelerate your career, follow this link to register for a Complimentary 60-minute Consultation web meeting.