It is the final day of International Coaching Week 2017 – and the on-line coaching community has been trading its favourite quotes about coaching all week.
“Everyone needs a coach”, say Eric Schmidt of Google and Bill Gates of…Bill Gates. And who am I to disagree with such luminaries; look at their track record. But does that make them right?
Listen to the man who built the colossus we know as Microsoft. He continues: “It doesn’t matter whether you are a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player”. He didn’t need to add, “or CEO of the world’s largest software company”, he leaves us to fill in the gaps.
What Gates and Schmidt are really saying is, to be the world’s best in sports or in business you need a great coach. It’s axiomatic; in their world it goes without saying. But does that really apply to the rest of us?
In coaching we say that the agenda is owned by the client not the coach. It follows that the client decides whether she or he needs coaching, not the coach. If this wasn’t the case every half-decent coach would by now have yachts in harbours across the world…or have established their own charitable foundations to relieve the world of terminal diseases.
What most people actually want is to be inspired, maybe not like Gates or Schmidt or Richard Branson, who do need their daily inspiration fix when they get up each morning. What we need is something that touches us, something that triggers our driving forces from time to time, at critical moments in our lives. That’s when a great coach can make a huge difference.
My favourite quote being circulated this week is attributed to Sir John Whitmore, the doyen of Executive Coaching and one of the most quotable of coaching gurus who passed away in April this year at the age of 80. “Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes.”
This is my belief and it is what Coaching Futures is all about. We cannot change or fix what happened in the past, but we can draw upon it in the present and with the strength our past and present provide, we can build a bridge towards a brighter future.
As coaches it is our clients from whom we draw inspiration. It makes us want to go that extra yard and be the best we can be.
So, does everyone need a coach? Maybe. But ask any good coach and she or he will say we all need to be inspired every now and again.
© David Levenson, May 2017
David Levenson is the founder of Coaching Futures. For further information, please contact David: