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10 things effective coaches and managers do well
  By Donald Cooper, CSP

     Coaching in sports and coaching in business have many similarities. Below are the top 10 things that great coaches do well. For each of these, rate your business coaching performance on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent. Then, total your score, and see how you stack up.

  1. Effective coaches are passionate about winning and committed to doing the work required to make that happen. Are you passionate about winning and committed to doing the work?
    Score: _____

  2. Effective coaches put together a winning team. They scout out and sign players with both the skills and the attitudes to get the job done. Have you put together a winning team?
    Score: _____

  3. Effective coaches assign each player a specific position with specific responsibilities, based on their talent, skills and experience. Then, they reassign positions when their original decision isn’t working. Do your “players” have specific assignments and responsibilities, and, if it isn’t working out, do you reassign them to other positions for which they may be better suited?
    Score: _____

  4. Effective coaches study the competition to understand their strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Do you know who your competitors are, what they do well and where they’re most vulnerable?
    Score: _____

  5. Based on their competitive analysis, effective coaches create a winning game plan. Then, they communicate that plan to everybody on the team. Does your business have a winning “game plan,” and does everyone on your team know what it is and what their role is to execute it?
    Score: _____

  6. Effective coaches constantly teach the skills and reinforce the attitudes needed to win. Training and practice don’t just take place at the beginning of the season. They go on every week. Are you constantly training and coaching your staff to improve their knowledge and skills, and do you constantly reinforce and live the attitudes needed to win in your business?
    Score: _____

  7. Effective coaches inspire extraordinary effort. They have the ability, through their words and their example, to “fire up the team.” Do you have the ability to “fire up your team” through your words and actions?
    Score: _____

  8. Effective coaches “send in” the odd play, but mostly they make sure that they have the right players in the right positions and that all players know their assignments, and then they let them play the game. They know that “sending in plays” all the time destroys the team’s confidence and takes away members’ initiative. Are you constantly “sending in plays” and micromanaging your team, or are you building a great team and letting them play?
    Score: _____

  9. Effective coaches keep stats to measure both individual and team performance. They know who’s contributing and who’s letting the team down. Are you measuring performance? Do you know who’s performing and who’s not performing in your business?
    Score: _____

  10. Finally, effective coaches hold players accountable. They reward exceptional players with bonuses, and they discipline or trade those who don’t perform or who hurt the morale or effectiveness of the team. Do you hold people accountable in your business? Do you reward excellence and deal quickly and effectively with nonperformers?
    Score: _____

    So there you have it ... 10 things great coaches do well. How did you rate on each element, and what was your total score? What does this tell you about where you need to focus your time and attention to be a more effective leader?


Donald Cooper, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is respected by clients in more than 40 industries as both a “thought leader” and a passionate visionary in the areas of marketing, service and business excellence. Drawing from his real-life experience as a world-class manufacturer, award-winning retailer and business speaker, he has helped thousands of businesses throughout the world to add more real value to their customers’ lives and more dollars to their bottom lines.

To subscribe to Mr. Cooper’s free monthly electronic newsletter, send an e-mail to newsletter@donaldcooper.com. His website, www.donaldcooper.com, also offers free articles and business tools.


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