The Secret to Great Leadership: Act like a Coach, Not a like Boss

The Secret to Great Leadership: Act like a Coach, Not a like Boss


Not all leaders are leaders. Great leaders are coaches and mentors, poor leaders are bosses and bully’s ~ John R. Salkowski

Not all leaders are leaders. We all have worked for a leader that led by, “Do as I say, not as I do”. These so-called leaders aren’t leaders. They are bosses or bullies. See, there is a difference between a coach and a boss. A coach has systems in place to systemically improve individual performance by giving constructive and developmental feedback. While bosses use discipline to improve performance. This is an oxymoron. How can you get improvement out of someone if you are only teaching them with discipline? This approach does not work. There have been numerous studies that have proved a direct correlation between the quantity and the quality of coaching a person receives and his or her level of performance improvement.

Just like world-class coaches, world-class leaders may not always have the best talent, but they always seem to get the best out of the talent they have.

In my past career as a Police Officer, I worked for bosses that led and instructed with discipline. The only way they believed to get productivity out of someone is by disciplining them. As a leader, one must know that constantly disciplining someone just creates poor morale and eventually turning productive workers into lazy workers. Your mindset changes from being a doer to why get involved. Let’s put this into perspective: If you constantly discipline a child without teaching them, what will you eventually get? You will get a child that turns into an angry, problematic, less than productive person.

Coaching and developing your people is a process, not an event. Coaching and being a mentor is not something you do, but rather something you must become.

Below are 4 essential steps to transform you from a boss to a great leader:

Step 1: Change Your Mindset and Belief System
Changing how you think (mindset/beliefs) controls how you behave. As a great leader, you must believe that your job is to coach and develop your people to constantly and consistently perform at high levels.

Step 2: Change the Environment that’s conducive to Winning
You must pull the weeds before your plant the seeds. As a coach, your job is to pull every ounce of potential out of your people. You must first start by asking, “How am I doing? What can I do better?” You, as the coach, set the standard for your people to follow. Lead by example.

Step 3: Transform the Conversation
After you change the environment, you must then lay your foundation for weekly coaching conversations. Your team’s long term success requires short term focus. The best way to help your team’s performance is to help them keep focused, set goals and keep them accountable.

Step 4: Embrace Mistakes as Coachable Moments
In order to build a highly productive, highly performance team is to make sure they are learning from their mistakes. We learn far more from failure, then we do by our successes.

However, the most important step of all is to not criticize and discipline when mistakes are made, it’s to coach.

I’m John R. Salkowski, Founder of AchieveSuccessAcademy.com™. Professional Speaker, Best-Selling Author of Nothing But Net: Top Secrets to increase your bottom line, Health, Wealth & Success & Entrepreneur. Retired Cop, Survivor of PTSD stemming from a shoot and kill robbery incident. Expert on Leadership, Success, Overcoming Adversity, Fear & PTSD. Author of 3 books; Leadership in The Line of Duty™: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations, Leadership in The Line of Duty™: Success Thoughts and Quotes for Leaders and

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