5 Shifts to be a Great Coach

5 Shifts to be a Great Coach

Learn how Collectives can help you make these shifts to raise your coaching game. 

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The impact of a coach on a team is tremendous. It can make the difference between winning and losing. Think Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors.

It is the same in disciplemaking and church planting. A leader with the right approach, who has developed the necessary skills and has the temperament to coach people to take action, has a tremendous advantage.

A group I worked with recently has a number of pastors and church planters learning the art of coaching. One leader shared the dramatic change in people when he has taken the coach approach. In several conversations when he was asked for advice, he turned to the individual and challenged them to reflect and brainstorm solutions for themselves. In just about every case, the people have responded enthusiastically and taken responsibility for their actions. This is the power of a coach approach.

Making this change is significant, strategic and sacrificial. Here are five shifts that occur when a leader moves from being indispensable to an empowering leader:

  • Shift from being viewed as the expert vs. viewing the other person as the expert
  • Shift from being the center of the conversation vs. supporting the other person
  • Shift from being the advice-giver vs. listener
  • Shift from being the creator of the agenda vs.hold the other person accountable for the agenda
  • Shift from being responsible to take action vs. empower the other person to take action

What could be the impact if you were to make these shifts?

  1. You will help people think for themselves, foster a high sense of ownership and take action!.
  2. You will expand your circle of influence so that you are not the only catalyst to lead an initiative, implement change or create a new culture.
  3. You will accelerate the process of:
    • Disciplemaking
    • Leadership development
    • Church Planting

Collectives are focused learning intensives to train you, and the leaders you are empowering, in the best practices of coaching to make those shifts.

Two Collectives are being offered this fall:


Great Coaches Know the Game

Great Coaches Know the Game

What lesson can we learn from the best coaches in the world?

What do world-class; truly world-class coaches do that set them apart?

Let’s take a look at the world of professional sports and assess what coaches at the highest level do that translates into the ministry coaching. For instance, one of the most successful football coaches in European club football is Zinedane Zidane of Real Madrid. Not only was he one of football’s greatest players of his generation; but now is approaching his team’s third European Championship – in a row. A feat that has only been achieved by Bayern Munich from 1974-1976.

For our purposes, what can we extract from what Zidane does that applies to how we approach coaching disciplemakers and leaders?

First, Zidane understands the game.

Second, he knows his players.

Third, Zidane makes the right decisions at the right time.

I realize that I am making a leap to suggest that coaching in the sport’s context can cross-over to coaching in a ministry context. But aren’t these worth consideration?

Let’s take that first one today – Understands the game. Zidane knows what, how and when to makes adjustments so that his teams score, defend and close-out games. What you also sense from Zidane is, he knows how to handle defeat.

For instance, last week Real Madrird played Bayern Munich in the European Cup Semi-Final in a home and away series. In the first leg in Munich, Real Madrid went one goal down early in the match. Zidane made changes to the squad and they fought back, away from home and won the match, 2-1. In the home series it was Real Madrid that proved their superiority once again with a convincing win, thanks to a critical mistake from Bayern’s goalkeeper.

When coaching disciplemakers and leaders, it is imperative we understand the “game”. What I am suggesting is that we must understand the process of making a disciple; and the process of developing a leader; so that we will know how to help people:

  • make adjustments 
  • do what is required to advance
  • handle set-backs.

These are just some of the complexities of the “game” that we are asked to play as we coach disciplemakers & leaders.

Here are three questions for your reflection:

  1. What developmental process (disciplemaking & leader development) has worked for you in the past?
  2. How do you engage people in a developmental process?
  3. What would make the process reproducible?

I have found the two coaching resources below helpful to define the pathway for disciplemaking & leader development:

  1. Making Disciples Storyboard
  2. Leadership Multiplication Pathway
Coachability Trait #3 – SMART

Coachability Trait #3 – SMART

Very seldom do I watch the footage after a football match; but when Liverpool plays I enjoy watching Jurgen Klopp celebrate, encourage and, if necessary, console his players. His self-awareness sets him apart from other managers. This is why he is considered one of the most emotionally intelligent coaches in the game today.

Klopp is one of the most successful and sought-after football managers in the world today. He coaches Liverpool FC of the English Premier League. He is also a Christian and willing to share his views about faith – read more here.

In a BT Sport interview, “The Man Behind The Manager”, Klopp was asked: “How would you describe your style of leadership?”

His response was spot on: “Giving the right advice in the right moment.” He also expressed his desire to manage each of his players differently by remaining “close to the human being”. And finally, his commitment to helping the club, fan and players succeed by giving everything of himself “freely and expect others to do the same”.

Klopp’s ability to manage and get the best from his players is exceptional. He admits that he is not the smartest (or has the highest IQ); however, his EQ sets him apart and is legendary in the highly competitive, highly stressful and highly compensated sport of football at the highest level.

In the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves break down EQ into four key areas:

  1. Self-Awareness: is your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations.
  2. Self-Management: is your ability to use your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively.
  3. Social Awareness: is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them.
  4. Relationship Management: is your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.

Consider the people you are currently coaching and developing, assess their EQ using the 3-point scale below:

  • Low = unaware
  • Medium = somewhat aware
  • High = always aware

Now consider people you want or should be developing, using the same scale.

What new insights do you have?

If you would like to process this further, please e-mail us to schedule a complimentary, 25 minute coaching conversation with Gary Reinecke.

Hungry like Pep Guardiola

Hungry like Pep Guardiola

Last week I introduced three virtues of a coachable person based on Patrick Lencioni’s book entitled: The Ideal Team Player. The three virtues: Hungry-Humble-Smart are also wonderful traits of a coachable person. I will address each of these in the upcoming blogs beginning with the trait of a “hungry” person.

In case you missed it, Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to the English Premiership title last weekend. To no one’s surprise, the club completed the feat with 6 games remaining in the season. This gives them the chance to accumulate the most points ever during the course of a single season – and chances are, “Pep” will see his team reach that goal.

Beyond his desire to win is a relentless thirst to learn and be a student of the game so that he can find new ways to surprise his opponents. He is regarded as THE BEST manager in the game of football (soccer) today – and perhaps of all time. *He was the third of four children born to Valenti Guardiola, a bricklayer, and Dolors Sala and raised in a working-class home with solid family principles and a clear sense of dignity.  His unquenchable thirst drives him to succeed, challenge his players and feed the wild beast within.

*If you are interested in reading more about Pep Guardiola here is the link to an article highlighting his journey that created his incredible appetite and work ethic.

When identifying leaders to coach, having a hunger to learn, continually improve and achieve, is critical to a fruitful coaching relationship. Nothing is more inspiring than a person who has the desire, that drive and grit to grind it out when hard work is required. This hunger will drive the agenda for many a coaching relationship.

Consider the people you are currently developing, assess each by their willingness to word hard using a 3-point scale

  1. Low = lacks drive
  2. Medium = solid work ethic
  3. High = crushes it at every opportunity

Now consider people you want, or should be developing, using the same scale.

What new insights do you have?

If you would like to process this further, please e-mail office@infocusnet.org to schedule a complimentary, 25 minute coaching conversation with Gary Reinecke.

Do you have a leadership pipeline?

Do you have a leadership pipeline?

Not too long ago I was asked to recommend a book to help churches design a leadership pipeline. A “leadership pipeline” is a leadership development process that helps local churches establish, grow and reproduce leaders. At that point in time, when I searched my mental files, I came up short. Today, I can answer that question with a resounding “yes”.

“The Leadership Difference”, by Robert Logan, offers principles for the leader who’s vision is to develop other leaders. Reflection questions with related resources enable reproducing leaders to create their unique development process.

When discussing leadership development with other leaders, I’ve discovered the lines between discipleship and leadership are often blurry. In fact, some would argue, discipleship = leadership development. There is some truth to that statement. Logan makes the case and captures the essence of that dynamic; the relationship is one of interdependence:

Discipleship is the often less visible but absolutely essential foundation upon which leadership must rest. Without it, everything else collapses (p.19)

But there are also differences. The author makes a clear distinction between Discipleship Competencies and Leadership Competencies:

Discipleship Competencies:

  • Experiencing God
  • Spiritual Responsiveness
  • Sacrificial Service
  • Generous Living
  • Disciplemaking
  • Personal Transformation
  • Authentic Relationships
  • Community Transformation (p.21)

Leadership Competencies:

  • Personal Development
  • Developing Leaders
  • Leading Teams
  • Organizational Development
  • Communication Skills
  • Pastoral Skills (p.26-27)

This alone is worth the price of the book. A more complete list is presented in Appendix A and B. Clarifying the two creates a clear distinction. This allows a leader to design her/his own leadership pipeline, with the end in mind.

Logan is one of the leading thinkers in church planting and leader development today. His extensive experience as a coach, consultant and trainer in 30+ countries, spans four decades and gives him a broad base from which to draw. Logan is constantly asking God: “What’s next for the church to grow and reproduce healthy disciples and leaders?”

I highly recommend “The Leadership Difference” when you are being asked to build a leadership pipeline in the church or ministry you serve.

Are you a Disciplemaking Coach or Mentor?

Are you a Disciplemaking Coach or Mentor?

What is the difference?

In his book Sending Well, Dino Senesi differentiates the unique ways coaches and mentors, or consultants, operate: Coaches “Draw Out” while Mentors “Pour In”.

If you find your-self desiring to help disciples, or disciplemakers you are coaching by “drawing out” the best path forward, then you might want to explore the upcoming Disciplemaking Collective.

We will give you a sneak-peak of what to expect in the Disciplemaking Collective, meet the Disciplemaking Collective Training Team and have a chance to interact on the questions you need answered.

Disciplemaking Collective Overview WEBINAR

Can you block-out 35 minutes on March 5 @ 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST for this important FREE informational webinar to learn more about the Disciplemaking Collective?

Please register here to confirm your spot and write “Disciplemaking Collective Overview” in the Message box. Click Disciplemaking Collective Overview Login to enter the webinar.

Thank you for your continued passion and commitment to developing the healthiest, disciple-making movements possible. We’re looking forward to supporting you in every way we can.

The Disciplemaking Coaching Collective Training Team!

Gary Reinecke – Church Health Coach Facilitator

Daniel Bethel – Missionary & Disciple-Making Catalyst