Rulership measures results; leadership walks with the heart.
Most people, if they are honest, will tell you that they’ve been waiting for someone to ‘see’ them fully without feeling shame. This speaks to various areas in life and you should infer it into wherever you like but for this post I’ll speak to an athletic environment.
All athletes would like to be led from a coach who sees their weaknesses and loves to coach them with patience anyway. People feel most alive when they trust with their heart than obey with their body. It’s then, coaches, when you actually have tapped into an inspiration that is more difficult to extinguish than the motivation that comes from fear.
You’ve heard the phrase “To be or not to be that is the question.”
I’m telling you, if your athletes are asking this question internally about themselves in relation to you, you haven’t reached them yet. So how do you reach them?
You reach them by first being willing to be in their present reality without any condemnation. Letting them know you see them and it’s ok because all life is a journey. It’s in speaking words of encouragement that fit for the situation they believe that they are experiencing.
Of course in a coaching environment this seems out of place. But that’s because coaches had a much easier coaching path when everything was just ‘do as I say or else’! But of course that’s relative. In today’s environment coaches actually have to have a slightly professional perspective on how the mind works in order to be a great coach because of the generation we have with us now. But I think that’s the natural purposed growth for coaches anyway.
This makes me remember something my mentor shared with me, he said,
One day an old wise man planted a seed in the desert and his servant asked him why he did it. But the old man remained silent. The next year a traveler was lost and thirsty. And walking in his faintness through that same desert he came to notice a sole beautiful yellow flower sticking out of the ground. He knew two things, that 1) this was intentionally planted so people must have passed through this place and 2) there must be a water source close by also.
He eventually stumbled, barely alive and whispering ‘I knew it’, to find the wise man and his servant.
The wise man looked to his servant and said, “Imagine you were that seed in a dry place for a second. Sometimes in life you have to purpose your growth in tough environments. That singular action can save the lives of many who witness your growth. You see, I led him to us because I spoke to his heart and placed hope in it by demanding the growth of a flower a year ago.
That’s a leader. He walks through the journey of the heart and isn’t frustrated with the faintness of others who are walking the same way.