Ever since 2003, I have been immersed in learning everything I can about leadership coaching.
Years before I became a coach, my life was very different.
I was a high school teacher in West London and my heart was set on becoming a Principal of a school.
Leadership coaching was a skill that I had been trained in and I absolutely loved it. It was a way to help me achieve my goals.
And then I lost my job. Humbled and more than a little humiliated, I ran away to Thailand. As I was packing my bags, I threw in a pack of coaching playing cards designed by Jamie Smart.
I can say, without a shadow of a doubt: these cards changed my life.
From the moment I took my trip to Thailand, I’ve been coaching ever since.
Coaching has been my full-time profession since 2007.
I even wrote a book for people interested in Leadership Coaching with my friend Steve Chandler.
The Prosperous Coach has now sold over 100,000 copies.
Fast forward to today.
I want to share with you a list I’ve created based around everything I’ve learned over the years.
My A to Z Experience of Leadership Coaching list.
Let me know what you think:
26 Leadership Coaching Secrets: An A-to-Z to Shift Your World
A – What would make this an AMAZING conversation?
You need to help your clients create a powerful future from the moment they say their first words to you. The future doesn’t exist, rather – it’s created.
The only time that you can ever, truly create the future… is right now, in this moment that you are currently standing in.
B – “I believe in you.”
“I believe in you.”
Without a doubt, these are four of the most important words that anybody can ever say or hear. When you tell your client these four words and you genuinely mean it, something special happens. You can actually watch them start to believe in themselves. And because of this belief, they will move heaven and earth in order to achieve their dreams.
C – Create Clients
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You don’t “get” clients. They aren’t “attracted” or “landed.” You don’t “find” clients, either.
You create clients.
One powerful conversation at a time.
Remember: you are in a relationship business.
D – Declaration
Did you know, George Washington didn’t become the first democratically elected President of the United States until 1789?
Most people assume that he became President 13 years earlier, in 1776. The reality is, though, that 1776 only marked the year that the US became independent of Great Britain.
Because in 1776, the United States DECLARED itself to be independent.
Anything and everything that has ever been created began with the power of our words.
So… What do you declare?
E – Our lives change at the very edge of our comfort zone.
Working in Leadership Coaching means helping a client lean into their edge. This is something that every great coach does.
If you hear the words, “I hate you!” – said with a smile, of course – on a regular basis? Then that means you’re doing a great job.
F – Freedom
There are three main distinctions when it comes to freedom.
- Most people are seeking Freedom From. “If only I was free from this job, this boss, this husband, this wife, this life…”
- After Freedom From comes Freedom To. You’re Free From… and now you have the Freedom To… be creative, make a difference, go after what you REALLY want…
- And after Freedom To, there is Pure Freedom. Once you’ve acquired Pure Freedom, you have the freedom to make decisions moment by moment. You have the freedom to be yourself – which is ultimately what we all REALLY crave. Most importantly, though, this is a place to come FROM, not a place to get to.
G – Goals are best when they’re approached as a place to come from, not a place to get to.
“I’ll be happy when…” types of goals rarely, if ever, make us happy.
Think about it. Have you ever cherished a new car, a new job, more money, more status, etc… only to discover that once you got what you wanted, it wasn’t as satisfying as you imagined?
A friend of mine talked about getting a high-end Porsche for YEARS. Finally the day came where he was able to purchase the car of his dreams!
… and then he sold it.
Simply because he was bored with it.
Look, until that precise moment where you’ve achieved your goal – you’re not there. The chase can be just as demotivating as it can be motivating.
It’s important to approach leadership coaching with this kind of mindset.
Maybe you have a client who dreams of leading their organization in the next five years.Help them show up as a leader, today.
Do you want to coach extraordinary leaders? Then close your eyes and imagine who you’d have to be to make that happen.
Now open your eyes.
And start taking every action and making every decision as if you’re already that coach.
H – High Performers Love Leadership Coaching.
Successful people often struggle in unique ways. When this happens, though, they rarely have anyone in their life to talk to about this.
Help them create a safe enough space for them to share what they are hiding from. Maybe it’s their board, their investors, their clients, even family members.
Do this, and you will change their lives forever.
Plus, helping a high performer make a tiny change can lead to incredible results!
I – “I don’t need help.”
You aren’t looking for clients who “need” help.
You’re looking for clients who “want” help.
J – A great coach is like a jazz musician.
Leadership Coaching is definitely more of an art than it is a science. It requires practice, being in the moment, and flow.
It also requires creativity. And with creativity, it requires the creation of honesty and trust.
It’s your job to make sure that your clients don’t die with their music still inside of them.
K – “I coach Kings.”
How about you? Who do you coach?
Look for the “King” inside everyone you meet and you, too, can coach Kings.
L – Listen
I asked my wife’s grandmother what wisdom she’d like to pass on to younger generations. She didn’t hesitate.
“People have forgotten that LISTEN has the same letters as the word SILENT…”
Silence is your secret leadership coaching tool. Bite your tongue and keep your mouth closed for a while. Listen deeply to your client. Truly pay attention to what they have to say.
I promise you – you’ll rock their world.
M – Move
Our emotions are stored in our bodies. There’s a saying, “The issues are in the tissues.”
Get your clients moving. Transfer them out of their own heads and into their bodies.
Shift their bodies and you’ll shift their thinking.
Shift their thinking and you’ll shift their world.
N – NO
First, do your best to collect NOs. YES lives in the land of No. Besides, you know what NO stands for, right?
Second, make a conscientious decision to say “No” more often. As Warren Buffett once said,
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
O – Get out in the world.
You are rarely going to create a high-performing, high-fee client from your computer. A client of mine actually invented what she calls, “The Middle Seat Project.” Whenever she flies, she books the middle seat. This way she has the opportunity to get really curious about at least the two people next to her.
Remember – we’re in the relationship business.
P – Presence
Put your attention into your client. Make sure that they feel held, that they feel safe. Listen deeper than just the words that they’re saying.
Keep a little bit of your attention inside your own body, though. You need to be able to “be in the moment.” Bring your humor, your curiosity and your spontaneity!
Q – Qualify
Make sure you’re auditioning your clients and not the other way around. Set your bar high. If you want clients who are 10s then you need to be able to turn away the 9.9s.
Read more: There’s No Such Thing As Hell Maybe
R – Reduce
Less is more. As Dave Trott says, “Stupid people think complicated is clever. But smart people know simple is clever. Because you have to go beyond complicated to get to simple.”
You want clients? Then serve people
You want money? Then create value.
You want to move people? Then let yourself be moved.
Less. But better.
S – Sell
There is no reason for you to be afraid of this word. In Old English, this word actually means “give.”
Give people value – as much as you possibly can and then some.
And then give them a number.
You see? Now you’re selling.
And make sure that you sell a lot. The best way to create a client is to NOT need them.
T – Build a team.
If you want to grow, you don’t have to do it alone. I know it sounds counterintuitive but you need to hire great people BEFORE you can afford them.
Hire slowly and don’t be afraid to fire quickly.
Encourage your team to make mistakes.
Make it your mission to help each one work only in their Zone of Genius.
U – YOU, YOU, YOU: not me, me, me.
Make it YOUR mission to learn everything that you can about the person sitting in front of you. What are their deepest dreams? What are their secret fears?
V – Find your voice.
I was once told something extremely interesting by a famous blogger. Almost every top blogger in the world hates their first 50 articles.
And none of them found their voice until they’d written at least 100 articles.
If you want to write then, plain and simple, start writing. And then put it out into the world.
Action, not perfection.
If you want to speak? Then start speaking. Start with an audience of two people. And then you can grow from there.
Did you know that the word “influence” comes from the Latin “to flow”? What does this mean? It means that if you want to influence people, then you have to let it flow.
W – Walk your talk.
Hire a coach of your own. I definitely have.
The biggest gift that you can give your clients is to be successful. You don’t have to try to be perfect, however. Make it a point to share your struggles. It can be difficult to be “real” but it’s also extremely attractive.
X – 10X
Help your clients dream bigger than they’ve ever dreamed before.
As Tim Ferriss says:
It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground.”
Simply put, the level of competition is the hardest for “realistic” goals. This makes them the most time- and energy- consuming goals you can chase. In fact, it is actually easier to raise $10,000,000 than it is $1,000,000.
Quite the paradox, eh?
If you’re feeling insecure, though, know that you aren’t alone. The majority of people feel that way too.
Don’t overestimate the competition while underestimating yourself.
You are stronger, better, and more powerful than you think.
Y – Start with WHY!
As Simon Sinek puts it,
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it… The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
What’s YOUR mission?
What moves YOU to tears?
Z – Zzzzzzzzz….
Always remember that YOU are the most important part of your business. Which means you need to take care of yourself.
A masseur once said to me, “Relax Rich, You’re here for you…”
This was hard to process. I spend so much of my time supporting others and I rarely let others take care of me.
Well, if it’s hard for you to do it for you? Try doing it for your clients. Trust me.
Rest, relax, exercise, take a trip, play, eat well, sleep well… be your own best client.
Leadership Coaching and Transition Excellence
Congratulations! You’ve made it through my A-to-Z list of 26 Leadership Coaching secrets!
And now, you might be sitting there wondering, “What’s next?”
I can tell you what’s next – Transition Excellence is what’s next.
Look, I’ve provided you with a lot of information that you can use on your own.
But if you’re truly following this information, then point ‘W’ should stick out to you…
W – Walk your talk.
If you truly want to raise yourself to the next level then you need to walk your talk.
You want people to invest in you, then you need to invest in yourself.
Which is where Transition Excellence comes in.
Transition Excellence is a 6-month program designed to be completed in 100 days. You’ll gain access to 13 modules, an INCREDIBLE Leadership Coaching community, and you’ll have weekly calls with myself and members of my faculty.
You’ll be able to watch us coach in real time and then take what we’ve taught you and implement it yourself.
You see, I created this program to help take people just like you through these 26 steps and much, MUCH more. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your coaching journey, Transition Excellence is here to help.
These 26 Leadership Coaching secrets are just a taste of what Transition Excellence has to offer.
So, Book a Call with a member of my Admissions Team, today.
Keep in mind, this isn’t a sales call, this is an enrollment call. Accept the first challenge to book a call and then let my team challenge you even further.
I’d also like to invite you to take my Coaching Excellence Scorecard. This quiz is designed to score coaches on the 4 pillars of coaching excellence. There are no wrong or right answers, just areas for improvement. You can actually take this quiz first and then you’ll be prompted to book a call upon completion.
I hope to see you soon.
PS. Transition Excellence is also an ICF accredited program for those of you who might be interested. You can learn more about the ICF by clicking here.