When I became a mother, my entire life shifted to revolve around my daughter.
Every word I spoke, everything I did, and every way I interacted with her had an impact. My biggest hope for my child is that she will grow up to be someone who strives to make herself and the world a better place every single day.
What I’ve learned as a parent is that our interactions with our children, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant at the time, form the foundation for their growth. Through these interactions, they learn to develop the lens that allows them to see the world around them. And I always wanted my daughter’s lens to be as clear as humanly possible.
The same goes for a leader coaching their people. Everything you do as a leader is watched intently by your employees. And you’re responsible for developing their lens. That’s why it’s vital to not only lead by example but instill your values into your people.
If you haven’t heard of AJ Dillon yet, I promise that you will see his name in lights very soon. The Boston College freshman running back got his first career start in 2017 and already looks like a senior All-American. The 245-pound tank has been tossing defenders aside and running away from others like a superhuman.
As amazing as AJ is, I want to introduce you to his mother, Jessyca Campbell. She’s a single mom who worked multiple jobs while raising her son AJ to be the all-star athlete he is today. She knew if she wanted her son to grow up to be someone who would change the world one day, she needed to do everything she could as a mother to coach him in the right direction.
When asked about raising AJ as a single mother, she said: “I told AJ: ‘This is our situation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work hard, you can’t have goals, you can’t reach everything you want in life. You can go with the flow, but that’s not who we are.’ I pushed him hard every single day.”
These are the values I instill in my daughter, and these are the values I emphasize to my team as their leader.
As a company, you won’t get results by focusing on results alone. You will get results by putting coaching into your team. You’re creating an unstoppable force that will always achieve their goals, just like Jessyca Campbell did with her son. She wasn’t pushing him to go straight to the NFL. She was pushing him to be the best he could possibly be – the results came later.
To get the true lasting results you want, you must spend the majority of your time coaching the people around you. You have to get inside their programming and their beliefs, so you can drive their performance. Performance equals knowledge minus leashes. Coaching your people is all about removing those leashes so your people can constantly become better every single day, not just survive.
Our award-winning Leadership Sales Coaching program is specially and uniquely designed to turn your managers into coaches. What’s the difference, you ask? Managers make things easier for their people. Coaches make their people better. Where managers merely focus on the behaviors, coaches get the most out of their teams because they focus on the programing, the beliefs and the behaviors to improve results.
Here are 3 principles from our sales training program that we encourage you to use to coach your people:
Create self-assurance. Managers create dependence. Coaches create self-assurance. Are you confident that your people have the ability to perform the same whether you’re there or not? The only reason your employees don’t perform up to their abilities 100% of the time is because they don’t have self-assurance in their abilities. And as a coach, YOU can unleash them. Jessyca Campbell worked 5 jobs, there was no way for her to constantly keep her son under her eye. She needed to coach him to become self-assured so he could do his work whether she was there or not.
Change perspective. Managers tell people to shut up and do their job. Coaches change their perspective. One of my favorite questions to ask struggling employees is, “Is it impossible, or is it just impossible for you?” Think about it. An employee comes to you and says, “This task you gave me is too much. I just can’t do it.” In that moment, you can do one of two things. You can either say, “Look, it’s your job. Just suck it up and get it done.” OR, you can change their perspective. I’m sure there were days where AJ wanted to give up. He was working harder than all his friends growing up, waking up at 5 am to work out and sprint. His mother knew he was capable of it, and so she pushed him to rewire his attitude so his 5 am sprints became nothing more than daily routine.
Expect more, get more. Managers expect little and get little. Coaches expect more and get more. The Rosenthal effect is one of the most valuable resources you have as a game-changing coach. In a study, researchers found that students who were held to higher expectations actually performed better than everyone else. And here’s the thing – they didn’t feel any more stress than students who weren’t held to a higher standard – that was just their normal. Jessyca Campbell was able to normalize the high standard she held towards AJ. As a result, he is able to work harder and produce bigger results than the people around him without feeling the pressure that someone else might feel.
Just like your children can’t fail, your people can’t fail – they can only learn and grow. It’s easy to see your people failing to reach the standard you create and just think, “Well, time to lower the standard.” You need to see failures as teachable moments, not as a red light for coaching.
Be like Jessyca Campbell. Push yourself and your team to be better every single day. Hold yourself and your team to higher standard. Once you are able to do this, you will have created a team of warriors with a work ethic just like AJ Dillon’s.