"Leader As Coach" Is Dead - What's the Alternative?

“Leader As Coach” Is dead - what’s the alternative?

Over the years, we’ve all heard the phrase “leader as coach.” There have been many programs created around this concept, where companies have pulled people away for a couple of days and taught them coaching skills. When they return to their day-to-day activities, these new coaching skills fall by the wayside. Is the Leader As Coach model dead? Maybe not yet, but it’s dying.

Let’s take a step into conscious reality and ask: “Do I really have time as a leader or individual contributor to coach others, given what’s on my plate? Do I really have time to be a true coach?”

Remembering my leadership days, as much as I would have liked to be able to say the answer is Yes!!

…in reality, the answer is No.

Let’s get real. In a year as a leader, we typically have:

  • A number of 1:1s

  • At least two performance discussions

  • A developmental plan for our employees

  • A full plate of projects, and

  • Numerous day-to-day tasks to execute

  • Travel, speeches, making sure to spread the vision across the company.

Some leaders have five direct reports while some have twenty. Not to mention, we have a life to go home to in the evening. Very simply, if you add these hours up, you get the point: in this information age, our plates are overloaded.


Here is a concept for you: LEADER AS FACILITATOR.

To consciously facilitate means to make easier or less difficult. My goal as a leader was to be a facilitator - to bring ease to every situation and experience.

There are a number of things to facilitate, and these start with YOU.

As a leader, you can facilitate:

  • The end of conflict – consciously choose to stay connected rather than perpetuate conflict

  • Emotional flow – capture the wisdom in emotions

  • Conscious communication – take responsibility for being heard and communicating clearly

  • No gossip – choose not to gossip … ever

  • Breathing and moving – keep your energy flowing

  • Innovation – consciously choose to see the creative spirit in everyone, and hold the vision for your intended outcomes

  • Presence – invite everyone to be with whatever is in the moment – no matter what shows up – presence is the foundation for everything!

  • Your career – consciously take charge of your own development and career by getting clear and asking for what you want

Imagine a company where everyone is off of autopilot, facilitating presence, aware of how they are showing up, and focused on facilitating their own experience. Imagine the ability to consciously navigate internal tension and situations that drain energy throughout the day.

What would you do with all of your time?

Instead of wasting time, you could spend it on productivity, innovation, and connection.

What is required is a change in context to taking full responsibility for your experience. The time and energy we spend trying to “coach” others is a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual drain.

Instead, that time and energy can be spent on taking full responsibility for our own career, experience, value system, work-life balance, creative expression, new projects … the list here goes on and on..

Be a conscious leader and lead the way by facilitating and inviting others into the same.

To learn more about how to be conscious around others while getting things done, pick up my new book: Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age.