The best coaches are constantly seeking out more information, remaining flexible and adjusting course as new information was uncovered. You can be a coach without knowing what you’re doing or where you’re going. But how often are people going to follow you over a cliff?

The best coaches cut through the clutter and found the core of simplicity. They consistently share their message and help their people uncover a direct path to results. Of course, the worst coaches also find a core of simplicity. It’s just not rooted in reality so it’s usually a direct path to failure

Coaching Tips and Truths

Tip 1.  Vision without substance is not vision, it’s illusion. Illusion has no long-term motivating power. It’s worse than no vision at all because it creates distrust and cynicism. And vision is a two-way street. It comes down from the top, but it should also rise up from the individuals who make up the organization—each of whom should have a vision for what they’d like their life to be.

Tip 2.  Try treating people the way the best companies treat their most important clients. This means service. It means respect and courtesy and taking the time and the trouble to build rapport. It also means getting their input before making decisions—and getting their buy-in afterwards.

Tip 3.  Dictators dictate. Leaders sell. Their peers, their people, their partners and even their bosses follow because they wish to follow. In situations where you lack dictatorial power—in other words where you lack the authority to have people taken out and shot—try leadership, try selling.

Tip 4.  Don’t expect team players if you haven’t made it a team sport. Too frequently, inferior managers demand teamwork and then set up situations that destroy any possible team spirit. If I don’t win when the team wins, I’m not on the team. And it will never take more than one victory for me to figure that out.

Tip 5.  Any coach or manager who expects people to put the organization’s needs ahead of the needs of their loved ones is not bright enough to be a true leader. How many supposed leaders put the organization’s needs ahead of the needs of their loved ones?

Tip 6.  Too many.

Tip 7.  There are few things in life more rewarding than helping others grow and succeed. Especially if you helped give them the faith in themselves to try to succeed in the first place. Mark Twain said that great people make you feel that you too can become great. Make others feel that they can become great and maybe you won’t be a great person, but you will get great results.

Tip 8.  Speak softly and carry a big carrot. It usually works better than the stick. Concentrating on What’s in it for them, and What’s in it for you will usually take care of itself. Usually.

Incredibly Obvious Tip.  Bringing out the best in people makes those people happier. Make the people around you happy, and you’ll be surrounded by happy people.

Incredibly Obvious Corollary.  Most of us are happier when we’re surrounded by happy people.

Final Tip.  The job doesn’t make the person, the person makes the job. Finding a way to run your team that’s in tune with the way you believe you should be living your life can make you far more effective in your business. If it makes you less effective, perhaps you’re in the wrong business.