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5 Leadership Lessons From Coaches – Leadership, Sales & Life


by John Bossong
Leaders matter. In fact, an average organization can be taken to another level with great leadership. Leaders serve many roles for an organization. Leaders are similar to athletic coaches.

Here are 5 reasons leaders are similar to coaches and the business lessons you can learn.


They see the big picture. A player (employee) may see the game only from their limited perspective; the coach (leader) sees everything on the field and how all the pieces fit together.
They have the wisdom of experience. The average coach (leader) has lived through more games than the average player, and they’ve seen things that some players haven’t. They bring that experience to the team.
They are invested in the outcome, but they are in it for the long haul. Just as kids can’t see past the end of the school year, players (employees) sometimes can’t see beyond the end of the season. The coach (leader) can put things into perspective.
They inspire. Because they care deeply about the players (employees) and the game, they are able to connect with the team (employees) in a way outsiders cannot.
They get you in shape. No one WANTS to do stadium steps or run wind sprints, but the coach (leader) knows that these mundane and boring exercises are what’s needed to win championships (create purpose and profits).
Just as you’ve never seen a winning team without a great coach (leader), you’d be hard-pressed to find a winning organization without great players (employees). Leaders know they are only as good as their people. Great coaches know they are only as good as their players.

A leader performs many of the same roles an athletic coach does. They help keep things in perspective, guide you with experience and wisdom, help you think beyond short-term results, and motivate and inspire you to face fear and lead. They also keep you from wasting time and energy on unnecessary tasks.

The best leaders get personal satisfaction in helping you succeed. It’s about you, not them. You wouldn’t want a baseball coach (leader) who was still reliving his glory days in competition with the players on his team; you also don’t want a leader who feels threatened by your success.

What other similarities do you see between leaders and coaches?



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