Extreme Leaders: How Will You Achieve Excellence?

April 21, 2010 — Leave a comment

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Like Tiger Woods or not, one must appreciate his talent, dedication, and contribution to the game of golf. The truth is, Tiger Woods is a product of exceptional talent and superior coaching.  Tiger Woods was a very intelligent young man early on, when he recognized that without great coaching he would never be great. As a result, he hired an Extreme Coach – Butch Harmon.  So, why talk about Tiger Woods and his coach? Because Tiger Woods and Butch Harmon have worked together day after day, both on the practice field and on the playing field, relentlessly pursuing an impossible future. The reason the partnership between extreme athlete and extreme coach has been so powerful is because both have taken their goals and their relationship extremely seriously – spending hundreds of hours working toward what is an extreme goal. Harmon and Woods, Coach and Coachee, have built an extreme partnership.  As a result, Tiger Woods is well on his way to achieving his impossible future – exceeding his idols’ (Jack Nicklaus)  number of record wins at the Masters.

Despite nightmares of remedial coaching for the person hoping to avoid a pink slip, or some vision of coaching as a transcendental inner realization, great business leaders NEED great coaches. Despite the myths, Executive Coaching is about:

  • Delivering extreme business results
  • Moving from good to great
  • Achieving far beyond current capacity
  • Realizing extreme potential

In both sports and business, extreme executives/athletes are required to understand the strategies of the sport, while playing within the rules and regulations. Being “extreme” involves more than winning. Extreme means “off the charts” excellence  – spending many hours practicing skills and leveraging teamwork under the guidance of a highly experienced coach. Extreme leaders and their coaches continually critique performance and technique, as well as comprehensively observing their opponents to learn the tendencies and weaknesses that will provide them competitive advantage. They work together to gain strength and stamina and to prevent injury (physical and/or mental). Coaches push bodies and minds to their limit during both practice and play. Every successful executive understands the value and necessity of an Extreme Coach – someone who will push them beyond their current capacity and stand in their greatness even when they can not. For an Extreme Global Leader, recruiting an Extreme Coach is critical to winning at the great game of business and achieving impossible results.

Because competition in global business is, at all levels, extremely intense and job security can be precarious, extreme leaders must train continuously to maintain excellent form, superior technique, and peak condition. A key role of the Extreme Coach is to be a strategic partner – determining the type, level, and difficulty of exercises,  prescribing specific drills, correcting suboptimal techniques, and maintaining accountability. Equal to an Extreme Athlete, an Extreme Global Leader must have an Extreme Coach as a critical thinking partner –  strategically assessing next steps, evaluating ongoing performance, pushing to exceedingly high levels of excellence, and facilitating ongoing growth and superior results.

An Extreme Coach motivates Extreme Global Leaders to play hard, rise to challenges, and adjust the game plan as necessary –  all vital to success. Executives who seek to compete at the Extreme level must have extraordinary talent, desire, and dedication to training – but s/he must also have an Extreme Coach that is resourceful and flexible in order to successfully instruct and motivate individuals who compete at this level of play. However, the most important role of the Extreme Coach is that of ensuring the leader is keenly aware of his own potential and what is possible, rather than what is impossible.

Along with refining corporate and individual skills, Extreme Coaches are responsible for reinforcing good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and teamwork, as well as making “on the field” adjustments during both practice and game-time scenarios. Immediately prior to, as well as during the game, coaches may call specific plays intended to seize the advantage, maximize team chemistry and optimize the opportunity for victory. Extreme Coaches, in both sport and business, are critical to success and have two unconditional things in common: 1) they are true trusted advisors to their athletes/executives and 2) they are all relentlessly results-oriented.  If an Extreme Leader can not discern these values in a Coach, chances are  the Coach is not Extreme… and may not facilitate winning the “Big Game”.

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation of Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders.


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Sheri is The Global Coach, founder of Luminosity Global Consulting Group, Global Executive Coach, Speaker, Writer and Global Business and Cultural Expert.

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