1: So, what exactly is leadership anyway?

Let’s skip all the boring textbook definitions. In one ear, out the other…

Not management. Not being a manager. That’s an important skill. But management is not leadership.


Leadership is about the ability to influence others.

I like this definition of leadership because it’s simple.  

And, true.  

Think about it at a gut level. Whom do we consider a leader in our lives and why? Think of a real person, a real-life leader… That person has influenced us, right? The moment they stop influencing us is when they stop being leaders.

2: Influencing others. That’s our job as leaders. And one of the most important ways we do that is by being a coach.

This week we will explore some of the lessons I learned from my friend, mentor, and coach, Dr. Danny Friedland, who passed away 18 months ago after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He wrote a brilliant bookLeading Well from Within.

Danny introduced me to the process of “self-coaching.” As leaders, our maximum leverage comes from the ability to coach others to coach themselves. So they can rise through powerful cycles of continual learning and growth.  

3: Imagine we are given a choice. We can either be coached by a genius coach who inspires us to improve. Or, we can be coached by someone who teaches us to self-coach ourselves and then challenges us to instruct others on how to self-coach themselves. And so on…

The inspirational genius coach sounds great. But… there is a shadow. How many people can our genius coach coach? Not only that, but we may become dependent on our coach to provide wisdom and the path forward. And what happens if they leave?  

Who’s more impactful? The genius who can look at the sun and tell the time? Or the person who teaches others to build a sundial so they can tell time?

Learning to coach ourselves and then teaching others to coach themselves is a true paradigm-changer. It’s not about our genius. It’s about activating the genius in others. That’s leading from our highest self. That’s how we elevate the leadership capacity across the organization.  

The leader as coach who coaches others to coach themselves.  

That’s influence. That’s leverage. That’s playing the long game.

That’s leadership.

More tomorrow.


Reflection:  Think back on my most successful coaching relationship. What made it so?  

Action: Track the time I spend coaching this week.

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