Everyone needs a coach

Mark McMahon | May 22, 2020

There are many situations in our life where the role of a manager or director becomes that of a coach—something I call the “ManagerCoach.” Often, the successful director of a high-performing tennis or racquet sports facility or business needs to become a trusted advisor, confidant and mentor to those whom they lead. This may be even more evident today, as we all work to make it through this era of coronavirus.


The best in their field, across almost every endeavor of human performance—from business, to sports, to the arts—recognize the need for a coach. Just as there are people around you who need you to coach them, to help them become the best version of themselves, there are also people in your life whom you need to coach you, so that you are encouraged to aim higher and achieve more. 

We all need to coach, or be coached, for different reasons, at different times in our lives. Sometimes coaching can completely change a life or a perspective about a specific subject or discipline, while at other times it serves to build on just one small thing that, when adjusted, allows for significant change, or amazing growth. There are many types of coaching, too—mental, strategic, tactical, skills, physical, etc.


And keep in mind this popular observation: “Coaching is 90% attitude and 10% technique.” Simply as a result of opening one’s mind to possibilities, coaching can have an amazing and transformative impact on both parties to the coaching relationship.


What are the qualities of a “ManagerCoach,” and how can this help your members, players and customers? A ManagerCoach… 

  • Truly listens to people.
  • Takes a real interest in people, not as just employees or students.
  • Is clear about expectations.
  • Is eager to share knowledge.
  • Is quick to reinforce positive behavior and discourage unacceptable performance.
  • Can be trusted to fulfill promises and to not make promises they cannot keep.
  • Is flexible and open to new ideas.
  • Has a good sense of humor and is enthusiastic about their work, and about life.
  • Is prepared to challenge, and sets standards that motivate the people under their influence to produce in the best way they can.
  • Is in control of their environment.


Most of us have experienced the value of coaching when related to our time on the court—whether we’ve been the coach or the person being coached. If you are a director or manager, consider the possibilities for enhancing your team performance as a result of you being prepared and willing to become a ManagerCoach. It can be one of those rare times when everyone wins.




Mark McMahon is the president of McMahon|10s, an executive search and consulting firm that also offers career and life coaching.


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