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True Leaders are Great Coaches, Here is Why

Last updated: January 11, 2017

A great leader has the knack of churning out more like him. Throughout history, there have been people who have become legends and then went on to mentor others who have the taken the baton of leadership even further.

Since the days of Alexander being inspired by Aristotle, we have seen coaches, mentors and teachers by people who themselves had massive followings and major contributions.

But is it true? Is every leader a great coach?

Absolutely Not!

A leader has many qualities, but he is not perfect. No one can be. However, the power to mentor future leaders is a quality that separates the best class of leaders from the rest.

There are abstract talents that True Leaders have, making them excellent coaches.

Recognizing potential when others don’t see it

True Leaders have the knack of seeing talent and vision where others see waste. They will step out of their way to get a talent get its due.

It can be an inborn trait or something developed over years of experience but you will always find their judgment about other people starkly accurate. Their experiences allow them to have an understanding of human psyche that is far more than what common people comprehend.

Persuasive and Motivational Powers

What do Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler have in common?

They are all great public speakers. This is important to my context because people like these have a knack of swaying popular opinion in their favor. When mentoring, this skill transforms into a skill for persuasion and one for getting out the best in other people.

Most of you have heard Steve Jobs’ college speech. Didn’t your life change course that day? That’s the power I am talking about!

Pacing yourself while mentoring/coaching

A very critical variable for any mentor or coach is to pace himself according to the receptor skills of the pupil.

They realize that putting excessive pressure can break a talent while making it too easy can make them take things for granted and fall on their backs.

True Leaders will always have a balanced approach to things. They know there is a learning curve to anything. Talent doesn’t meet success in one day!

They will push your limits but will also care about you. They will know when it gets too far and you need a break.

They will evaluate you accordingly, taking your biases, flaws and circumstances in mind with the aim of making you more capable of fighting the same and coming out on top.

Collaborative rather than hierarchal

You can leave Hitler out of the list here! This is most probably the reason for his ultimate failure.

Leaders with a knack for nurturing talent never allow hierarchal tendencies to creep up. They are not insecure, untrusting or controlling. They are facilitators that aim at developing the best form of their pupils and making them realize their true potential.

They don’t control you; they collaborate with you and take things to another level!

As Ben Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

In modern times too there are umpteen instances where leaders have stepped in to groom talent they knew would reach heights even greater than theirs.

Here are 6 examples showing why True Leaders are Great Coaches

01. Dr. Ed Roberts and Bill Gates

Yes! Even the world’s richest man had a mentor in his life. Before Microsoft went big, Gates was closely involved with Dr. Ed Roberts along with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Dr. Roberts was then the creator of the Altair 8800, one of the world’s first microcomputer (the revolution began from here! So we all need to thank him!)

Gates and Allen decided to open Microsoft after being inspired for the same by Dr. Roberts. Gates and Allen worked on writing a software program for the Altair 8800 from the MIT for Roberts.

The mentorship provided all the encouragement and mental stimulation and made sure that Microsoft would be a force to reckon with globally, in the future to come.

02. Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Marissa Mayer

The world’s biggest tech billionaires are mentors to the current Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer.

They have consistently guided Marissa in the tech universe and provided her the necessary motivation to achieve such heights. It is because of these mentorships that she stands today as the head of their most obvious and top rival. But they don’t have any qualms!

The creators of Google shared insightful techniques to deal with particularly important issues with her and look at her now!

It is clear that the knowledge sharing given by mentors of high intelligence is the basis for successful career paths.

03. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg

Many of you might not know this but in the early days of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg often turned to Steve Jobs for mentor level advice and suggestions. There were times when issues like best business practices, management and more were discussed.

04. Larry Summers and Sheryl Sandberg

This may not be a hotshot celeb mentor-mentee relationship for you like Kanye West teaching Justin Bieber but in the geek and finance world, these two are legends already.

Considered to be one of the most powerful women in the business world today, Sheryl learned a lot from Larry Summers while working under him at the World Bank as well as the Treasury Department.

05. Christian Dior and Yves St. Laurent

Enough tech talk, finally something for the fashion lovers. Dior and St. Laurent is both premium brands that are recognized the world over and can burn solar flare sized holes in your pocket. That’s how good they are.

However, many don’t know that Dior was mentor the couture designer Yves St. Laurent.. After he moved to Paris, the editor of French Vogue introduced St. Laurent to Dior.

06. Sir Freddie Laker and Sir Richard Branson

We all know who Richard Branson is. The man has a private empire worth billions and ranging from music to air travel.

However, there are many who don’t have a clue about his personal struggles, the efforts he has made and the battles he has fought to reach this level. When Virgin Airline faced problems in his early days, he turned to Sir Freddie Laker, the British Airline Entrepreneur for assistance.

What he got instead was a mentor who later on, also helped him when Lord King British Airways pulled dirty tricks on Virgin Atlantic.

To conclude, there is no denying that true leaders can be great coaches. The examples are more than enough to make anyone believe in the facts.

Have you found your mentor yet? Don’t worry, everything happens at the right time! Keep hustling!

True Leaders are Great Coaches, Here is Why
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