How to Be a Coaching Leader

Leadership roles are demanding. There’s no getting around it. If you’re new to a leadership position, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Suddenly, you have far more responsibilities, a whole team of people to manage, and you aren’t sure what kind of leader you want to be. Ed Molitor helps you choose your leadership style by showing you how to be a coaching leader

If you’re here, you’re probably looking into embracing the coaching leadership style. With this style, you’re not just a manager. You’re a coach who is interested in building impactful relationships with your team. 

But how to be a coaching leader is easier said than done. 

Being a coaching leader takes more than simply telling your team members what to do and hoping they do them. It’s about shifting the paradigm, building relationships, and not being afraid to push your team members out of their comfort zones. 

If you want to become a coaching leader, keep reading to learn some of the critical elements. 

Shifting the Paradigm


To switch from being a manager to being a coach, you’re ultimately starting to build trust. And when you establish that trust, there are three essential things the trust allows you to do: 

  1. Establish expectations
  2. Continually coach your people 
  3. Establish accountability at a high level 

As a leader, when you have trust, you can maximize the amount of impact you have on your team members. When you become a coaching leader, the trust you build is so strong that the positive influences touch every aspect of their lives, from the professional world into their personal lives. 

Your leadership style impacts how they interact with their teammates and the company’s customers and adds to their relationships at home, with their community, and provides an example of the power of paying it forward. 

No matter what industry your business is in, you would be hard-pressed not to find at least one person who positively impacted the most successful leaders within that industry. When you shift into coaching leadership, your goal is to influence your team members positively. It is your job to be the person who believes in your team members more than they believe in themselves at times. It is your job to be the person who genuinely cares about them as a person and cares enough to keep them accountable. 


What a Coaching Leader Looks Like


In the business world, we all know people who think they are great leaders. If you don’t know someone like that, give them five minutes, and they’ll tell you about it. They’ll start pounding themselves on the chest, telling you about the success of the company and their personal successes. 

But is that really what outstanding leadership looks like? 

No. Truly great leaders, those who lead with coaching, won’t have time to pound themselves on the chest because they’re too busy picking other people up. They understand that being a great leader isn’t about the attention you get–it’s about what you give. 

Great coaching leaders want to develop the complete person, not just the worker bee. They care as much about the growth of the lowest-performing person on their team as the person with the highest performance because they understand that the lowest-performing person can reach their highest potential with encouragement, patience, and understanding. A great coach can help the lowest-performer work harder, smarter, and longer, which helps lift the rest of the team. 

As a coach, if you want to go from good to great, it’s about working longer, harder, and smarter. To go from great to elite, you need to do things the right way for the right reasons, at the right time. When you do this, you will become the best leader you can be, but also keep in mind that these concepts will also help your team reach new heights. When you improve as a coach, your team is going to improve right along with you. 

How to be a coaching leader can look different in different companies. Still, there are always the key elements: trust, strong relationships, caring and pushing your team members past their comfort zones. If you want to learn more about becoming a coaching leader, listen to Episode 58 of The Athletics of Business with Ed Molitor. 

To continue learning how to be an effective coaching leader, consider working with Ed Molitor and expand your leadership and team development.


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