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I read a great article last week over at Church Multiplication Network. Here’s a re-print for you:

Even Tiger Woods Has a Coach

by Dave McNaughton

I have enjoyed sports for as long as I can remember. While playing football and baseball I had dozens of coaches. Many of them were colorful characters and had equally colorful vocabularies. Most of my athletic coaching conversations cannot be blogged about on the CMN site due to vocabulary sensibilities of some, but I will say that some of the conversations were actually quite motivational. Fortunately, I can tell you about one of the most important coaching conversations that I had with John Goodner, one of my high school football coaches. Coach Goodner was an excellent high school coach that ultimately went on to be a very successful college coach in the Big 12. He was a straight to the point, no frills kind of a guy. He believed that talk was cheap and hard work was the key to winning – not some pep talk. He did not try to be a motivational speaker. Ironically, a very simple comment of Coach John Goodner has stayed with me for my entire adult life. Commenting on the off-season workouts, he said, “If you are not moving forward, you are actually moving backwards”.

Coach Goodner was trying to impress upon the team the importance of working hard and getting better as a team. It is a concept that has never left me. He would say, “we cannot control how much ability that we have, but we can control what we will do with the talent that we have been given. We cannot control the talent level of our competition but we can outwork them.”

I am not sure if Coach Goodner knew that his philosophy of continual improvement was the foundational philosophy for Toyota. The principle of continual progress, known as Kaizen, is a daily activity that goes beyond simple productivity improvement to creating a culture of collaborative effort; a culture that values making changes, monitoring results, then adjusting as opposed to a top down command-and-control process. Large scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling is replaced by smaller experiments, which can be adapted more quickly as new improvements are developed. All that I know for sure is that principle is true and it works.

Both scenarios have several points of commonality; taking personal responsibility for becoming better, not being satisfied with the status quo and accountability to the team. They both have coaches.

How can I move forward in my life? Coaching.

Coaching is a structured relationship designed to help the person being coached to move forward, to reach the goals that they have set, and to reach their potential. With all the things that are remarkable about Tiger Woods, probably the most remarkable is the fact that he has a coach. The coach may change from time to time but he always has one. Why do you think Tiger Woods has a coach? Tiger Woods is taking constructive feedback from a golfer he could undoubtedly beat with some regularity were he to compete against him. Imagine what it must be like to not only be the very best in the world at what you do, but to be humble enough to admit that you can get better, that you don’t know it all.

How about you? Are you moving forward or backward?

Is it time for a coach? Only if you want to move forward!

P.S. If you hurry, you can still apply for my upcoming Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network (click here). It starts on August 20.

Not a Senior Pastor? You can find other coaching opportunities HERE.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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