A great leader is a great coach.

For years, we have asked clients who the best leader they ever had was. Predictably responses include that “My best leader…

  • pushed me
  • believed in me
  • helped me realize my potential
  • invested time in developing me.”

In other words, these really good leaders were really great coaches. They also realize that a leader is only as successful as his/her team, so the goal is to equip his/her team for success.

During our 25 years of working with leaders from leading businesses, all the complimentary phrases we have heard can be boiled down to three daily habits that great coaches employ. They are habits because these leaders view coaching as core to their role not as an extra administrative task.

positive coaching mindset underlies each of these three daily habits since inspiring coaches appreciate the power of positive.


They articulate their leadership values and behavioral expectations. When Lee was in a corporate leadership role, he communicated “Lee’s 3 F’s”: Fair, Focused and Fun. It provided a framework for discussion about what his team could expect from him and what Lee expected from them.

Great coaches spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort clarifying expectations because they know that is where the coaching game is won or lost.

They use that clarity to boost accountability for results. Simple of accountability tools like the 4 W’s (What, Why, Who and When) help clarify expectations and track accountabilities.


Great coaches are consistent.  They defy the salt and pepper principle of coaching meaning that sprinkling a little here and a little there, like seasoning your food, are just not enough.

An ongoing investment in others is not always easy or comfortable. It means giving real-time feedback and having some tough discussions. Great coaches are no more comfortable doing this than average coaches, but they realize they have a responsibility to invest in their teams – a responsibility that supersedes their personal comfort level.

They see their employees’ potential and natural gifts and help draw them out. Great coaches ultimately help good employees become even better people.


Great coaches see themselves as serving their teams, so they become an enabler of performance and innovation versus a barrier. They know that great leadership and coaching is not about themselves, they avoid the most common derailer of leadership success – ego.

They also demonstrate true servant leadership by also serving outside of the organization whether in the community, on a non-profit board, coaching a youth team, at church, being a Big Brother/Sister, etc. The options are endless, so this a great way to express who you are and what you are passionate about.

Start today with clarity, investment and service and you are on your way to becoming a great coach.


Contact us to elevate your coaching game and build a culture of coaching for your organization.