I’ll never forget it. It happened about a year ago. A young man plopped down on my couch and announced…..”Well, I’m glad you’re not a ‘blankety-blank’ shrink.” “Why” , I asked? “Because I wouldn’t go to a shrink. You ARE a Life Coach, aren’t you?” I thought to myself, I don’t-care-what-you-call-me…….as long as I can help you!
I have found particularly over the last 5-10 years, that many men react and respond much more favorably to a Life Coach than to a counselor. There are several reasons, but that is not the thrust of this article. The purpose of this article is to focus you on the opportunities that are out there to coach men of all generations.
A Sports Clips Salon commercial on the radio right now says “Men Live Life Differently!” Obviously, that is true in many ways. Because of that you must approach and develop men much differently than women. Coaching men is a way to gain desired changes while using a sports-related method to keep them in the process. That is why I believe that “Coaching Them Up” is an effective approach.
I want to suggest 5 things that I believe are true of men today and prepare them to be effectively coached to be better leaders, providers, husbands, fathers, and businessmen.
1. A Man Needs a Team.
The great Bill Russell of the championship teams of the Boston Celtics once said: “You don’t understand how important it was for me to be a part of the team.” He was not just saying that in a sports sense. He was referring to the number of ways being on a team enhances and improves your life. The same is true for the men you are coaching. They want to be a part of something greater than themselves. They want you to “Coach Them Up” so that they can become a leader and a coach themselves.
Coaching them gives them motivation. Coaching them improves their attitudes. It also gives them a mission statement which can include their dreams, goals, and vision for life. It forms a “Team Ego” which produces leadership opportunities in productivity and success of a group instead of an individual. You, the coach, give them all the tools they need to be the coach of their team. That equals SUCCESS for everyone!
2. A Man Needs to be Pushed to Excel and Over-achieve.
Those who excel, over-achieve, and go the extra mile embody the essence of greatness. Look at Jerry Rice. He was slower, smaller and shorter than most of the receivers drafted in his year. He promptly became the greatest wide receiver to play the game by his unyielding work ethic and endless hours of extra effort. I am convinced that men want to be pushed in every aspect of their life to excel and achieve greatness that they never thought possible. That is where the Life Coach comes in. It is our duty to push today’s men to excellence. It is our task to teach them the most important foundational elements of leadership. We must teach them to give optimum effort at work, at home, and in every aspect of their lives. Mediocrity must be shoved aside, for it is increasingly accepted and practiced in our world today. Basketball’s Michael Jordan always gave his best, regardless of the score or the opponent. The men we coach can do the same. Commitment. Passion for excellence. Purpose. Our men are screaming for it. That’s why we must coach them up!
3. A Man Needs to Learn through Adversity and to Model a Comeback !!
There’s a great poster that has a picture of a battered old rowboat stuck on a sandbar in the ocean. It’s cracked and weathered oars are sticking up in the air. The caption on the poster is full of hope. It says….”The Tide Always Turns.” Day to day life is full of ups and downs. It seems right now in our world, there are an unusually high number of downs. Job loss. Depression. Relationship break ups. The list goes on and on.
More than ever, we must coach our men to learn, grow, and persist through their adversities. They must be taught to model strength of character that takes them through these challenges and setbacks. As we coach these men through their tough times, we can call on history for examples of greatness through difficulty. Moses was a stutterer, yet he was called on to be the Voice of God. Abraham Lincoln overcame a difficult childhood, a major bout with depression, the death of 2 sons, and numerous political defeats to become of the greatest presidents to ever serve. Helen Keller was deaf, dumb, and blind. Did she let that stop her? No. Franklin D. Roosevelt had polio. So did Wilma Rudolph. Through hard work, persistence, and a rooted belief system, these people overcame their obstacles and found greatness in their path. So can the men we coach. They are crying out for help through their tough times so they can pass that help along to others. Coach them to learn. Coach them to keep going. Coach them to keep dreaming. Coach them to OVERCOME!!
4. A Man Needs a Sense of Purpose.
Here’s a pretty simple truth that I say to people all the time. “You cannot be a success if you do not know who you are!” The writer Ernest Hemingway. The athlete Michael Jordan. Scientists Albert Einstein and George Washington Carver. Mother Teresa. All these people had a common thread running through them. They knew their mission and purpose in life. Too many men today are willing to remain on the shallow surface, going through the motions of life. Doing menial tasks just to earn a buck. They accept their negative upbringing, their downcast environment, and let culture dictate who they are.
We must help them go deeper. We are called to coach them to their God-given identity and purpose. As we show them that they were created in God’s image, we can help them discover their strengths and fortify their weaknesses. It is our duty to take them to the spot where they are the most “alive” and “in the zone!” Move them toward their calling! Help them find hidden talents! Coach them up to their sweet spot of success !!
5. A Man Needs to WIN on a LIFE Field of Dreams!
I don’t know of one man right now who couldn’t use a WIN in his life. Men feel like they are losing at their jobs. Losing at home. Failing at life. This is where the coach comes in. Every man needs a LIFE field of dreams where he can experience a few wins. Perhaps it is a raise at work. Respect at home. A few kind words from a loved one. All wins!! The great visionary Martin Luther King would not have had such an effect on people had given a speech entitled…”I Have a Strategic Plan!” Instead he had a dream. A goal. A future that would include many wins in life for men everywhere.
Every ordinary man I know is capable of living an extraordinary life. Every man can get out of the stands, quit being a spectator, and live a purposeful life. Start really LIVING and stop just existing. It is up to us as coaches to set them up for success! To help them get a few small wins that will lead to bigger victories in all phases of their lives. Lead them to action! Show them how to change! The great football Coach Lou Holtz has a saying that he repeats often: “I am not what I want to be, I am not what I ought to be, and I am not what I am going to be, but Thank God I am not what I used to be.” Coach them up to change for the better. Give them a chance to succeed. Lead them to a few wins……on their life field of dreams !! Now……Get Out There and COACH!!
Contact Bill Speight, at www.icoachlife.org
(615) 837-4040 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org