Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why Bother?

In coaching as in leadership, there is one question we must continually be asking, bearing it up before us like a torch to light the path ahead:

What is my dream for them?

What do you truly want for the people you lead, for that person you're coaching? What is your deep desire for them? How do you want all this to turn out for them? In coaching we talk a lot about honoring the client's agenda--in other words, letting them lead the way. And that's good, but any practiced coach will tell you, it's not complete. Your own heart--the best part of your compassion and hope--has much to tell you about the person you're coaching, or the people you lead. You'll see potential they don't, and pitfalls they won't. You'll see where they've been shut down, where they are not yet free and know only vaguely that this is so. Your heart will want to form a dream for them, and this is a very good thing.

I think, in fact, it's essential. If you don't know what you're fighting for on behalf of the people you lead or coach, then why fight at all? Why bother? A leader needs to want something for his people...a dream, a driving desire for their unleashing. A vision for them that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their greater good. It's not about knowing more or being better than others so you feel obliged to help. It's about surrendering yourself to Love's desire on their behalf. Both leadership and coaching, when they're true and clear, are ultimately about love. Not phileo or eros, but agape--the love that desires for nothing but the other's greatest good.

Take a look at the people you are giving yourself to as a leader or a coach. What is your dream for them? What is it that love would have you believe or do in service of their lives?

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