What traits do great Christian coaches and great Christian leaders have in common? Although there are many we could identify in this brief blog post, I have chosen to focus on these seven traits:
1. Christ Centered: Christian coaches and leaders recognize Jesus Christ is the Center of their life. Christian coaches and leaders help keep their clients and followers grounded in God’s Word and their Christian Faith. They seek to honor God in their decisions and actions, and they recognize they do not have all the answers. They are going through their own sanctification.
2. Establish Strong Relationships Built on Trust: Trust is earned, not demanded and it is the most fundamental coaching and leadership skill. I once heard Colin Powell speak at a leadership conference and he said that you know you are a great leader when the people will follow you out of “sheer curiosity.” Imagine that kind of trust! In a coaching relationship, clients must feel safe to share their dreams and fears without feeling judged. They want to know it is safe to be “real”, and to feel there is a mutual respect and acceptance. Do you think Jesus built trust with His disciples?
3. Change Agents: Coaches and leaders help people clarify dreams and goals and then take action to accomplish far more than they could ever imagine doing on their own. Great coaches help clients explore the imaginative and step out courageously and boldly. Being creative means there will be some risk taking but if we stay in God’s Word and prayerfully move forward, God will bring others around us for support. My mom tells me often that if I am not out of my comfort zone, then I am probably not walking in obedience to God. Ask, “What if?”
4. Encourage and Empower: Words are so powerful and they can be used to build someone up or tear them down. How do you use words to build up others without coming across as a Polly-Anna or cheerleader? How sincere are your words? Do you allow others to share the lead and step into the limelight and even outshine you when possible? Christian coaches and leaders help others LEAD, and that may be building teams, thinking and planning strategically, creating vision, building support systems and being accountable.
5. Know Themselves: Christian Coaches and leaders are on a continuous journey to know themselves. They take assessments and survey their associates and clients regularly. Great coaches and leaders understand that most people often overlook their best qualities and don’t realize how unique they are. In the book, Cure for the Common Life, Max Lucado wrote, “DaVinci painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony. And God made one version of you. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. Mine like a gold digger the unique-to-you nuggets.”
“Each person is given something to do that shows who God is”. 1 Corinthians 12:7 MSG.
6. Authentic – Great coaches and leaders are true to who God has made them to be. They recognize there is no formula and no cookie cutter that can applied to coaching and leading. There are skills to be learned and applied and it doesn’t happen overnight. Coaches and Leaders evolve, and continue to learn and grow and make mistakes. Yes, even the best coaches and leaders will make mistakes, but they learn and adapt.
7. Visioncasters: Great coaches and leaders help others discover the vision God has placed in their hearts. As Goethe wrote, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become that they are capable of becoming.” Andy Stanley, author of Visioneering, wrote “Jesus had a vision of what Peter could become. Jesus saw in Peter the potential for greatness so he gave him a name that reflected his potential. Peter. The rock. From that day forward, Peter carried a constant reminder of what Jesus saw in him, What he could be. Visions draw and enchant. ”
“A vision we give to others of who and what they could become has power when it echoes what the spirit has already spoken into their souls.” ~ Larry Crabb
How do you see Christian coaching and leadership tie together?