If there was ever a time to be aware of your leadership style-your stance- and how to ensure you are meeting the four basic needs of followers, it is right now. Those needs -trust, compassion, stability, and hope are the building blocks for success in leadership.
The great news is trying to find the “right way” or “perfect system” to achieve your goals isn’t what’s important. Your authentic approach, the strength found in your unique stance is what really matters.
If you haven’t read the other parts of this series on authentic leadership under the Gallup Clifton Strengths model, I encourage you to do so. Perhaps the archetypes of either the Archer, Sensei, or Captain resonated with you. If not, that’s okay – here comes the final archetype – the Coach. It very well may be that you take the stance of the all-important Coach.
While the other archetypes lead with Executing®, Influencing®, or Strategic Thinking® superpowers, individuals with dominant themes in the Relationship Building ® domain provide the glue that holds the team together. The Coach knows that no one can make it all alone and without optimizing each member’s unique strengths, the group is simply an ineffectual composite of individuals. Coaches have extraordinary relationship building talents which helps a group become much greater than the sum of its parts.
Coaches know how to adapt. They can go with the flow when it is required while maintaining forward momentum. They can take things as they come and are eager to discover new possibilities. Coaches recognize talent and cultivate that potential in those around them. They accurately spot even the smallest improvement and love to celebrate individual progress. Faith in the link among all things is a cornerstone. Coaches believe that almost every event has meaning. They rarely see things as mere coincidence.
Coaches can often sense how someone else is feeling. Sometimes they relate to people by imagining themselves in another’s shoes. They look for areas of agreement and while they don’t enjoy conflict, they will not sacrifice what is best for the entire team to avoid it. They find satisfaction in working hard with like-minded people. Coaches enjoy close relationships but not always with lots of people, sometimes just a tight circle.
Accepting of others, they are aware of those who may feel excluded from the group and make efforts to bring them into the fold. Coaches are interested in unique qualities of each person, how to best relate to them, and enjoy thinking about how different people can work together toward a common goal. Generally, positive and upbeat their enthusiasm can be contagious. They have an ability to rally the team making the project more fun for everyone.
Coaches must always ensure they have a solid plan in place for the team to build trust and stability. If a team senses a wishy-washy approach, progress will be undermined. Take care to spread your attention across the entire team versus focusing primarily on lower performers. Understand that low performance could be a result of being placed in the wrong position on the team. Show compassion but manage relationships that may drain your energy.
A highly developed Coach will put the talents of the entire team in position for the win while acknowledging the value of everyone’s contributions.
Because our “stance” is so innate, so natural to our way of being in the world, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize it as a strength to can be maximized in achieving your goals or helping those around you. Try to learn more about what makes you unique in the way you engage with the world. Find ways to enhance your awareness and understanding of your authentic leadership style. So, no matter which archetype you identify with – the Archer, the Sensei, the Captain, or the Coach, your stance brings everything to your life necessary to achieve your definition of success. Ask yourself, “What is my definition of success for my life?” Your unique stance will not only help answer that question, it can also take you there.