Why in the world do you think Tiger Woods has Coach Hank Haney by his side? Surely you know that Tiger can most probably kick the pants off Haney any day of the week. But, as with all top golfers (all topathletes
for that matter), they are crystal clear about one thing: You cannot see yourself playing golf, it is
extremely difficult to coach yourself, AND it’s darn tough to be objective about your performance. As a matter of fact, most of the masters, like Tiger are very, very tough on themselves. As Haney once said about Tiger: “People ask when he’s going to get there. They don’t understand that there is no ‘there.’ You keep improving. He thinks that if he doesn’t, someone else will improve and catch him.”
In the book EDGE! A Leadership Story, we have our main protagonist, Mitchell James, play a round of
golf. Mitch plays the round early in the morning, alone with no one watching him. I won’t tell you what happens, but as the game goes along, things start heading south quickly, and during this game, Mitchell
James has an epiphany about life and about leadership…you can’t see yourself as you live your
life or live in a leadership role, and an outside perspective (such as a leadership coach) can really help you improve whatever game you are playing by giving you a bird’s eye view of your game.
With leadership coaching, one of the ultimate goals is to support a leader in his or her own
development through the use of a variety of tools, methods and resources. I have discovered that, by engaging in life experiences outside of the work environment (by playing golf, tennis, painting, teaching, playing a card game or puddering around in the garden) and getting in touch with everything in the surrounding environment, the majority of clients can shift from simply learning extrinsically to experiencing intrinsically an epiphany—gaining a sudden insight into the reality or meaning of something initiated by the experience and then talking through that experience with
someone whose opinion you respect.
So, for today, consider these questions:
- When was the last time you experienced an epiphany?
- What did you experience?
- What in your environment (of life) was the catalyst for the epiphany?
- What did you learn about yourself, other people or life during this time?
- What changes did you make in your life as a by-product of this epiphany?
- How did the epiphany take you to where you are today?
- What new activities are you willing to experience in life in order to grow as a leader?
- If you had had a coach by your side during this experience and epiphany that followed, how would you have used the coach’s skill, knowledge or insight to improve the game of leadership?