What Makes a Respected Leader?
There is something special about a leader that other leaders revere. There is something different about people who stand out for the right reasons. There are specific reasons why some coaches stand out compared to other coaches. There are coaches who most other coaches refer to as the leaders of the industry.
Let’s discuss how and why some people stand out as coaches and why others fall short. It’s important to realize the same reasons a coach stands out to other coaches is the same reason this same coach will be desired by the client hiring him or her as a coach.
As you read through this article, we encourage you to be honest and reflect on yourself as a human, a student, a coach, and a member of the coaching community. Your complete honesty is critical, so you can make the best decisions as you transition to a leader in every way possible.
Avoid acting like that stereotypical “guru” regardless of your success.
Avoid the over-filtered photos, the cheesy pictures with sports cars, and talking about how you just closed a $5,000 package yesterday, and you are celebrating on a yacht. Insert the SNL video “I’m on a boat”. You are not experiencing “beast mode” or “crushing it”. You must remain humble, grateful, appreciative, and eager to learn more.
Always treat everyone with respect.
This should be obvious. Still, we’ve seen coaches get a God complex when they start experiencing success in terms of money, opportunity, or recognition. This is odd because empathy and kindness are key to being a world-class coach. Yet, in some cases, we’ve seen the opposite occur over time. If you want to be a true leader respected by all, focus on the highest level of respect for everyone (coaches and clients alike).
Continue your education.
It’s simple. The more you learn, the more you earn. It’s always been this way. It’s not going to change. Obviously, you need your certification(s). Those who are leaders and respected by others are always earning CEUs, reading, and observing, to gather more information. People are always impressed by extensive credentials. Of course, they consider other factors. Yet, people always want to know about your professional education and the recency of your education. Thinking you know, acting as you know, and actually KNOWING YOUR CRAFT are all very different. You must back up your perception of expertise with actual expertise. If you try to fake it until you make it, you are setting yourself up to be completely embarrassed and humiliated in front of a group of peers. And, that is lying and completely disrespectful to your clients.
Take the high road whenever possible.
If you aren’t familiar with this “old school” nomenclature; if you say that someone is taking the high road in a situation, you mean that they are taking the most positive and careful/considerate course of action. Sometimes people frustrate you. Sometimes you can get upset in public. Sometimes you can have a conflict with a business associate. It’s life. Always do your best to take the high road and avoid future regrets. It’s not always easy. But, it’s most often, if not always, the right thing to do. When you pause and respond slowly and thoughtfully instead of reacting quickly and with possible regret, you will enjoy a better long-term result. That’s just the way it works. Also, showing calm to others shows you are in control. This is good control, not being controlling.
Become a more effective communicator.
There is a big difference between talking and communicating. There is a big difference between talking and being understood. And, there is even a difference between being heard and inspiring people to action. The first step in effective communication is listening. How can you know what to say if you first don’t know how your audience perceives the world and the topic? You must also know your audience to effectively convey your message. If you don’t know their values, how can you elicit those values to create analogies and connections they best understand? Ask questions that allow for clear answers. Stay engaged when listening. Show you care.
Clearly share your vision.
Ambiguity doesn’t help anyone. Clarity of thought and vision is always beneficial. People don’t gravitate towards people who are confused or don’t clearly articulate their point of view. Remember, as you share your point of view, you still need to be considerate of others’ points of view. In fact, you can only articulate your point of view optimally when you equally understand your detractor’s or opposition’s view. When you share your vision about your coaching philosophy (or life in general), give examples of why you feel it has merit. Give analogies. Share stories. Contrast and compare to other methods where you can show your philosophy has an advantage. Be prepared for feedback, criticism, and haters. Handle this feedback with the class. Take the high road. Consider what criticism may occur and have an intelligent and thoughtful rebuttal. And, most importantly, be prepared and willing to update your ideas and philosophy if new information is valid, verified, proven, and documented to be a better alternative to what you currently believe or offer. People admire those with a clear vision.
Stand out in a crowd.
We are all unique and that is a good thing. When we say stand out, we mean IN A GOOD WAY. How can you stand out while not making a mockery of the coaching industry or yourself? Be known for something significant or unique. Here are some examples we know: One successful coach always wears an orange hat. Another coach only wears black jeans and a black T-shirt. Another always wears a vest at conferences. One coach has unique eyeglasses. Still, another is well known for well-fitted custom suits with brilliant ties. This is all part of personal branding. What can you do that is fun, professional, unique, and true to your brand and target audience? Whatever it is…. It must be consistent.
Be more inspirational.
The phrase “to inspire” literally means to breathe life into another. Everyone appreciated being inspired. It’s for different reasons, but it’s a universal desire. We all benefit from a true leader giving us motivation and clarity at a time of need. Sometimes being inspirational is simply being solid in your footing when all else seems in disarray. Being inspirational can be as simple as being the calmest person in the room. In other cases, being inspirational can be shown by being the person who can most clearly explain the path to get what you want. And, in a very different way, inspiration can come in the form of becoming a motivational speaker. Finally, be certain you are not overbearing in your efforts to be inspiring. We’ve all seen an overzealous motivational speaker or coach. Think…Chris Farley in the SNL skit “In a Van Down by the River”.
Where Can You Learn More?
As you can now see, being a respected coach is complex and has a lot of common sense. It takes time to develop the skills and implement them in a natural way. Start now and you will continue to move up the ranks of successful, respected, and effective coaches.
Spencer Institute and NESTA are here to guide each step of the process. Be sure you take advantage of our course, programs, CEUs, and career training opportunities.
Be on the lookout for future articles about more ways to get an endless stream of clients for your training or coaching business. You will also want to search through the archives of our blog because there are many other articles that go into great depth about dozens of other ways to get clients. Here are a few for you to checkout now:
- How to Break into Corporate Wellness & Create Impactful Programs
- How Can You Provide Better Service for Current and Future Clients?
- How to make more than $80,000 per year with a Personal Fitness Chef and Meal Prep Business
Believe in yourself.
Be honest with yourself.
We are here to be your partner in custom designing your highly successful coaching career.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.
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