A good teacher can help you maximise your potential. While we may focus on being better than others, a good teacher focuses on making us better than our best selves. A good coach evaluates our performance against our latent god-gifted potentials rather than comparing with other’s achievements.
Self-evaluation is like esteeming our greatness through a mirror of admiration. A teacher’s evaluation is like observing our defects through lenses of concern.
Leaders most often operate under the erroneous notion that because they are leaders, they don’t need to be led. Leadership pride makes one un-coachable. Every leader needs to realise that learning and leading are inseparable. Submission to learning helps one cross the bridge between achieved greatness and achievable greatness.
A good coach will be able to instill in you a mental image of what could and should be your true potential. He coaches you to your potential and not your current level of performance. The wisdom of god is to strategically place around us people who have the experience and discernment that we often lack. When we are ready to get coached, a coach emerges.
Coaching is essentially three things – Observing, instructing and inspiring.
A good coach observes. Krishna first observed the potential in Arjuna’s leadership ability from far. After observing him for many years from a distance,
Krishna observed him from close during Draupadi swayamvara. When the Pandavas were in their early teens, Krishna wrote a letter to Dhritarashtra to take good care of them else he would have to take care of him just like he took care of his uncle Kamsa.
Initially, Krishna observed how this potential leader dealt with situations that were exceedingly complicated. It was not just important to observe how he dealt with it, but also how luck favoured him. After observing the behaviour, psychology, intelligence, and luck factor of Arjuna during the war with Drupad incident, the burning of lac palace incident, and the Draupadi swayamvara episode, Krishna froze his talent search.
He knew Arjuna was coachable. The second step was to take personal interest in guiding and developing this young leader. Every emerging leader requires instructive feedback that should be specific, constructive and real time. Krishna inspired his apprentice to not focus on loss, but to focus on upgrading what he has. High potential learners grow in spurts and they must be given that kind of scope for growth.
He inspired Arjuna to create a heavenly model-town Indraprastha from a barren ghastly Khandavaprastha. A good coach inspires you to open the cage and face your giant fears that you always trembled to confront.
You may consider yourself successful. You may even be the best in your field. But without a coach giving you input, you will never be the best you can be. Most people will reaffirm what you already proudly know about yourself but a coach tells you what you don’t know about yourself. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your potential ability.
Allow a coach to walk into your life and lift your lid for evaluation. Become coachable like Arjuna and allow a coach like Krishna to lift you from being “the best” to “your best”.
(The writer is an author, Tedx speaker, story-teller, corporate trainer and visiting faculty in several premier management schools)
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