Lighting the Way: From Coaching to Mentoring

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to strengthen your ability to develop future leaders. Reading time: 4:26.

The Mentor’s Spotlght

       You’re a coach, a mentor and a leader. Are you wearing three different hats or one hat three different ways?

        The most effective leaders know they are wearing — Three Different Hats —for three very different situations.

       They also know, understand, and can apply the difference with a distinction which helps them become even more instructive and constructive as a coach; even more influential and insightful as a mentor and even more energizing and galvanizing as a leader.

            Indeed all three disciplines –coaching, mentoring and leading— light the way for others. Coaches light the way with headlights. Mentors light the way with spotlights. And leaders light the way with limelights.

 Coaches Light the Way with Headlights

        Envision yourself driving down a highway at night. Your headlights light up a specific area – just ahead . The road is well mapped with clear and distinct destination points (responsibilities, objectives and indicators).

      Like a headlight, a coach illuminates a short-term goal, defines the expected performance and clarifies the necessary outcomes. The coach knows precisely where that road leads. That’s why the coach by definition must be the employee’s immediate supervisor. The coach is as vested in the result as fully as the employee is.

      Much like a coach of a sports team, the coach is figuratively with the employee at all times on the playing field –helping, guiding, steering, encouraging, consulting , observing and adjusting that well-defined road ahead.

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