In December 2014, I wrapped up one year of intense leadership coaching through Building Champions. My coach was a true coach in every sense of the word. She walked me through a detailed life plan, helped me set goals, and then spent the rest of the year standing behind me with a voice of encouragement. She gave me tools to help correct my sometimes weak leadership thinking. She helped me to see where I had gotten off my vision course, identify my weak spots, and empowered me to strengthen them. She even grieved with me through some tough times. I found my coach to be an essential component to 2014 being a success and I want to tell you why you should think about having a coach of your own in 2015.
To know your life purpose. Until I was coached through a Life Plan and Ministry Vision Plan, I could not tell you what I thought my life purpose was. Once I fleshed out the things that are most important to me; learned more about my personality, talents and spiritual gifts; and set my long-term goals, my life purpose came alive:
My life exists to exalt the person and work of Jesus Christ with integrity and excellence; to care for the local church, as the Bride of Christ, through leadership and discipleship; to tell the story of Jesus through the arts and depend on God to accomplish dreams that are bigger than me.
To know when to say “No”. There was one year, back in the early years of my marriage, that I had W2’s from FIVE different companies! Five! I would become so dissatisfied with one job that I would say “yes” to the very next job that came along. That was a long time ago. However, before coaching, I still found myself exhausted and used up by answering “yes” to every opportunity that came my way. Lead worship at special event? Yes! Design a 200-page catalog? Absolutely! Accept the PTO President position? Sure! Direct the school play? I’m there! Absolutely exhausting…and all because I didn’t know my purpose. Now that I know my purpose I am free – and even obligated – to say “no” to anything that doesn’t fit.
To have a safe place to air your business. One of our core values at Greenbriar Church is “We Open Up: Complete Transparency” so we are pretty open as staff and leaders when it comes to conflict. We aren’t afraid to have hard conversations or meetings that end with a little bit of tension in the air. It always works out, but in that interim time of dissecting the situation, my coach has been a safe place for me to unload every frustration, fear, and failure. What part did I play? Could I be in the wrong? What is my responsibility in the situation? What is in my power to do?
To have accountability. It never fails. If I share an idea or a goal with my coach, she asks me if I would like to make that an action step in my plan. “I’d like to drop ten pounds this year.” “What would it take to make that happen?” “Going to the gym regularly.” “What can you do to make sure you go regularly?” “Build it into my weekly schedule.” “Let’s make that an action step! What do you want your deadline to be?” You get the picture. She doesn’t stop there. Just as any good coach does, she follows up after the deadline to see if I’ve taken my step. And If I have not, she listens to my excuses about why not and offers me the encouragement I need to catch up!
To have a passenger-seat Navigator. I am usually nominated as the driver on road trips. It baffles me as to why…my mind is in a million different places thinking of family, ministry, ideas, and strategy…and I miss every turn, entrance, and exit. So, it is a given that if I’m driving on a road trip, the person sitting in the passenger seat has got to be the navigator so we actually get from Point A to Point B. That’s what my coach does – helps me navigate my way from where I am right now to where I want to be in the next five to fifteen years. She can see facets of my situations that I cannot, simply because she is viewing it from a different seat.
I didn’t know the full value of having a life coach until I had gone through one whole year. When I sat down to review the year, I thought I would be discouraged by some of the big goals I did not accomplish in 2014; but it was just the opposite. Because I had a detailed plan for the year, and lived it intentionally versus by-the-seat-of-my-pants, I was able to see that some of my biggest and most important goals were actually accomplished! I didn’t hesitate to sign up for another year of coaching in 2015. What about you? What would happen if you lived out 2015 with a coach?