Top image: Marguerite and her hero, Coach Glen Mills

I glimpsed the top of his head 3 rows below me. Balding, the remaining shards of his hair gray, he sat alone, seats vacant on either side, his shoulders rounded. Through the phalanx of black, green and gold clad spectators and flags, I saw his stillness, his solitude. The fans were about their business; his was complete. I wondered how many people in that stadium had passed this unassuming man – paunchy, a bit dishevelled, a missing tooth – thinking, if at all even noticing him, that he was some retired plumber, electrician or tradesman. Usain Bolt was retiring from what everyone acknowledges as a sterling, nay legendary career as the GOAT – the Greatest Of All Time. The gentleman seated 3 rows below me in the London Olympic Stadium was his coach, Glen Mills, another GOAT – the Greatest (sprint coach) Of All Time.

As a coach, not of athletes, but of leaders, I am inspired by this man. I have studied him from afar, through interviews, articles, videos on Bolt – always noticing the man behind Bolt, what he says and does (and I had the joy of a brief introduction at the stadium). In that moment of noticing him in the stadium, I got this from him about coaching:

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

You rarely see photos or videos of Coach Mills at competitions. How easy it would be for him to share the spotlight, to prance with Bolt, to be a part of the show. But in those moments of winning, Coach Mills knows that it is not about him – it is the moment for his protege to shine.
And so it is with leaders. The ability to coach is an essential skill for successful leaders. As a leader, it’s not about you. It’s about those whom you lead. It’s about helping them to be the best they can be; to be better than, greater than what they ever thought for themselves. It’s about seeing something in them and urging them beyond their limits to their magnificent best. And when they succeed, it’s about sitting quietly, in the background, whilst they get the accolades. It’s about creating Bolts in your organization, without fanfare, allowing their performance to speak for itself.

Today, what can you do to help a team member be the very best they can possibly be? How can you step out of their light and allow them to shine? When your team members are great, that’s when you are great. The world will know your greatness as a leader by their accomplishments.

And stay tuned – in my next blog, I will share some key lessons for leaders that I have gleaned from Coach Mills


FOR SIMILAR POSTS BY MARGUERITE:

Usain Bolt – That’s Just Me – click HERE to view article
Hold Your Form – click HERE to view article
Lessons From World Class Athletes – click HERE to view article


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