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The Leading Edge – “You gotta love the bastards!”

Sean Brawley is an “ego less” coach. That means it’s much more important to him that his clients succeed than that he be right. I could learn a thing or two from him in that area. Anyway, we were recently speaking and I was telling him how when I coach leaders to be the best that they can be, that my “non-negotiable” goal is for the people who have worked under them look back at the end of their careers and say that the best time in their career was when they worked for that leader.

Sean Brawley is an “ego less” coach. That means it’s much more important to him that his clients succeed than that he be right. I could learn a thing or two from him in that area.

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Anyway, we were recently speaking and I was telling him how when I coach leaders to be the best that they can be, that my “non-negotiable” goal is for the people who have worked under them look back at the end of their careers and say that the best time in their career was when they worked for that leader.

My models for such a leader are Pete Carroll of USC and John Wooden of UCLA, whose players have not only said the best years of their career were when they were coached by these great men, but who on occasion have even forgone an early entry into the NFL after capturing a Heisman Trophy (think Matt Leinart) to play another year.

Coincidently, Pete Carroll wrote the forward to The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, the methodology Sean uses in his coaching (find out more about The Inner Game Coaching Conference).

Sean shared an anecdote about another such coach, Red Auerbach, who coached the Boston Celtics to 9 NBA championships, who when asked the secret to being a great coach said chomping on his ever present cigar: “You gotta’ love the bastards!”

And how do you know whether you are that kind of coach? Auebach offered perhaps the best criteria: “You know it when many years later your players keep calling you back to tell you about their families, their careers and their lives.”

Auerbach was right. I am honored to have Warren Bennis mentor me and that is exactly what I continue to do with him. As Warren is now a bit older, the line forms to the rear of others doing the same thing.

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How many of the people that have worked for you do that? What do you need to do differently so that they will? Maybe YOU just gotta’ love the bastards!

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About the author

Mark Goulston, M.D. is the Co-Fonder of Heartfelt Leadership a global community whose Mission of Daring to Care it dedicated to identifying, celebrating, developing and supporting heartfelt leaders who are as committed to making a difference as they are to making a profit.

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