When Sam Walton died quietly following a long battle with bone cancer, he left behind a legacy as a folk hero, perhaps the most influential and certainly the richest retailer ever. The character of “Mr. Sam” as he liked to be called was made during the Depression. The youngest Eagle Scout in Missouri, state champion quarterback, student council president, and Army officer, Sam learned the value of thrift, hard work, and leadership. Once out of college and the Army, Sam aspired to an MBA degree and dreamed of becoming president of the United States. Reality intervened, however, and he found himself in Iowa working for J.C. Penney at a salary of $85 a month. During those lean years, he honed his skills for the retail world. He continually pushed retailing to its limits, always experimenting, promoting, changing, and practicing. And yet he remained fixed on what he had learned from James Cash Penney himself -- always put customer satisfaction ahead of profits. Sam Walton would become a leader to thousands and a coach to many. First however, he aligned himself with a coach he could respect and learn from -- J.C. Penney.
Whatever your endeavor, your vision, your mission, find role models -- people who are consistently producing the results you want. Find out what they believe, what strategies they use, and copy them. A good role model (coach, mentor) can save you months, even years of trial and error.
Good coaching is the essential feature of really effective leadership which, in turn, generates the context for good coaching. What are the essential elements or characteristics that define coaching as distinct from anything else? The phrases below are not meant to be mutually exclusive components. Each expresses a different way of grasping the core of coaching.
• Partnership, mutuality, relationship.
• Commitment to producing a result and enacting a vision.
• Compassion, generosity, nonjudgmental acceptance, love.
• Speaking and listening for action.
• Responsiveness of the player to the coach's interpretation.
• Honoring the uniqueness of each player, relationship, and situation.
• Practice and preparation.
• Willingness to coach and to be coached.
• Sensitivity to team as well as to individuals.
• Willingness to go beyond what's already been achieved.
Dr. Will Zook chose several men and women to coach him throughout his career. Now with nearly 50 years of experience behind him in several different business and ministry fields, he is offering to help others by coaching or mentoring them through whatever lies ahead.
What does lie ahead for you? What is your vision for tomorrow? What are your dreams? Can you see them fulfilled? Can you reach them from where you are and who you are today?
Write down your vision or dreams. Make a list of what you need to do to make it happen. Can you complete everything on your list? If so, what are you waiting for? If not, let us help you!