Leader As Coach Is Dead?

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 people return to their day-do-day activities, these 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 our days of leadership, as much as we 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 2 performance discussions
  • a developmental plan for our employees
  • a full plate of projects
  • numerous day-to-day tasks to execute

Some leaders have 5 direct reports and some have 20. 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. Be a facilitator to bring ease to every situation and experience.

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

As a leader you can facilitate:

  • The end of conflict – mindfully choosing to stay connected rather than perpetuate conflict
  • Emotional flow – capturing the wisdom in emotions
  • Conscious communication – taking responsibility for being heard and communicating clearly
  • No gossip – choosing not to gossip – ever
  • Breathing and moving – keeping your energy flowing
  • Creativity – consciously choosing to see the creative spirit in everyone and holding the vision for your intended outcomes
  • Presence – inviting everyone to be with whatever is in the moment – no matter what shows up
  • Career – consciously taking charge of your own development and career by getting clear and asking for what you want


Imagine everyone off of autopilot, 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 your time, you could spend it on creativity 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...we could go on.

Be a conscious leader and lead the way by facilitating and inviting others into the same. We'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.

To learn more about how to be conscious around others while getting things done, pick up my new book: Beyond Ego: A Framework for Mindful Leadership & Conscious Human Evolution.