Coachability is one of the key characteristics to be successful.
Coachability is one trait I’m starting to see as a differentiator between thriving and languishing entrepreneurs.
If you want to succeed as a business, you should enlist a business coach or mentor to guide you.
But coaching does nothing, unless the person is coachable.
Athletics can help cultivate coachability in people like no other activity.
In high school, I was captain of the football team, track team, and a starting center on our basketball team. I was athletic as could be, and for about 10 years of my life, I played three sports with the intent to become the best ever. I was large, physically gifted, and mentally adaptable for the most part.
My football coaches were old school, and they were about as tough as it got. From third grade till high school, every football coach I had could pick out 3 flaws in your performance at the drop of a hat, and punish you for those flaws.
It was a little intense, but looking back at it, I think that it helped me tremendously because my coaches punished me, pressured me, scrutinized me, and trained me to be the best I could be. They did a good enough job in the athletic realm, and I was awarded a full ride scholarship to play division 1 football at Northern Illinois University.
I was kind of a dime a dozen though, because big, white, offensive lineman abound across the fertile lands of America.
Looking back, I can say that the coachable players did the best.
What is Coachability?
Coachability is the ability to integrate the feedback and guidance you get from an outside perspective.
Three Cores of Coachability: humility, pursuit of mastery, and obedience.
1 – The core of being coachable is humility.
Humility means to put your self in the service of others, and not lord your own way or opinions above another. Jesus taught humility to the world, when in spite of his divine power, He came to serve us, and give Himself to us.
To be coachable, we must give ourselves to a coach in humility, and allow them to judge, inspect, re-direct, criticize, and instruct us.
This humility also transforms us into great team members, regardless of the profession or endeavor.
Nobody likes working with a stubborn person, and stubbornness is the opposite of the type of humility I’m talking about.
Pride and stubbornness cause us to disregard other’s instructions, because we think we’re god.
Proud, stubborn, and arrogant team members aren’t helpful – even if they’re remarkably talented.
In fact, if you had two identical basketball stars, both are identical in their abilities and performance, but one is arrogant while the other is humble, which one would you be attracted to? THE HUBMLE ONE!
Do you think that the coach prefers the arrogant player, or the humble one?
Show me someone who is coachable, and I promise that they are in the habit of seeking humility, seeking feedback, enlisting others to help them improve, and trying to identify blindspots in their pursuit of mastery.
Entrepreneurs that are humble, yet driven, tend to have great success.
2 – Pursuing mastery of your profession.
In order to be coachable, a person needs to cultivate a desire to continuously improve in the pursuit of mastery.
Just like in athletics, coachability means that you are seeking mastery in each relevant skill.
There’s a classroom in session for each relevant skill in every given profession.
Whether you’re a consultant to a tech firm, or working at Taco Bell, you are determined to learn. Even Taco Bell can be a classroom for mastery! You can develop efficiency, teamwork, food preparation, execution, timeliness, and encouragement,. Each one of those characteristics are examples of skills that could be mastered as an employee at Taco Bell.
Coachable people are usually pursuing mastery in their understanding, and execution, of all things.
One of the things that I think athletics teaches people better than almost any other thing, is the principle of pursuing mastery.
When I entered the non-athletic world in the job place, I realized that there are a lot of people who do not pursue mastery, are not coachable, do not seek feedback to improve, and do not practice in order to develop into a greater version of themselves.
In the pursuit of mastery, you become bound and determined to learn from other masters.
3 – Obedience
I’ve struggled to conquer my pride and lack of coach ability, and my lack of obedience is at the core of my struggle.
If you want to be coachable, you’ll have to pursuit mastery, be humble, but then ultimately it’s about obedience and execution.
I used the word obedience here rather than execution, because I think that it encapsulates the idea best.
Taking direction from others isn’t first nature, and even when we do accept feedback, we’ll often do it with a great deal of grumbling, complaining, and hidden disrespect for the person coaching us.
To be coachable, you need to execute and obey.
Coaches have something that we don’t have – external perspective.
I believe that wisdom comes from obtaining perspective, and that the way to develop various levels of wisdom is to learn the perspective of others.
If you want to be known for wisdom, trust the authority that’s been placed over you, and obey their direction.
Obedience is actually a tremendous leadership trait, and it’s a quality that builds trust within a team. When we obey with a joyful heart, we’re also able to uplift others and achieve more.
I hope that you’ll start to embrace the idea of becoming coachable.
Entrepreneurs that enlist a business coach or mentor are able to go further faster.
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