Sunday, August 2, 2009

Why use a Christian Leadership Coach?

A quality Christian leadership coach should bring some unique strengths to your coaching engagement. If they are serious about their relationship to God and bringing that relationship into every aspect of their life, work and leadership you will be well served by them. Of course it is up to you to see if they have a level of coaching expertise sufficient to meet your need.

Having been in leadership in one way or another over many years, it is my personal belief that every Christian leader should work with a professional coach. Working as a leadership and executive coach for over a decade, I am all the more convinced. This is not a belief based on commercial intent, but one based on understanding Christian leaders and what they face. From the emerging to the seasoned leader, a huge benefit would be gained by the support offered from an impartial coach. But that is for another post.

Why use a Christian leadership coach?

The Christian coach has a high awareness of the importance of clarity. Of all people, the Christian coach understands that the truth will set you free. Driving for the truth bears huge reward. It isn't always easy. It may hurt or embarrass. It may give up chunks of emotionally held territory. But once gained, the truth has a freeing quality. It allows all other things to fall away and provides opportunity for singular focus and less distraction on those things that matter.

The Christian coach has a high awareness of the importance of ownership. The biblical order is believe, receive, become. Receiving something, adopting it as your own is a cornerstone principle of the Christian faith. Taking ownership, taking responsibility, saying "this is mine to deal with" is vital to moving forward. Without commitment there is no movement. And in order to reach goals and objectives in business, government, ministry or personal matters, we must start from a position of owning the situation.

The Christian leadership coach has a high awareness of the importance of structure. They understand that God is a God of order. He created an ordered universe. He gave principles of order. Without structure, things devolve into disorder and confusion. Christian coaches help people develop strategies, structures and environments that support success. Other coaches do that as well, but Christian coaches realize that the best solutions do not always come from referencing self but from setting self aside and referencing outside of self within the larger context of God's order.

The Christian leadership coach has a high awareness of the importance of momentum. Perseverance is a key Christian concept. If God assigns a task, we act with passion and we don't give up until it is achieved. Our God is not a God of stalling. He is a God of movement. He is a God who provides needed course corrections in order to better achieve the task. Momentum implies consistent forward movement in the face of challenge and the unknown. It implies faith that steps up to the challenge of the unknown fully drawing on all the resources of God that are available.

The Christian leadership coach has a high awareness of the place of outcomes. Whether in setting general direction or specific objectives, the Christian coach understands that God wants us to experience certain outcomes, the benefits of having followed a particular course of action. When we can be clear about where we are going and what's going to be awaiting us when we get there, it provides a motivation that attracts us forward. The way to go is clearer, the objectives more satisfying and the result of achieving those objectives so much more worth the effort.

Many of the practices and techniques of the Christian coach resemble those of any other professional coach. However, the life of faith and a vital walk with God provides certain understanding and approach that are unique to this faith-centered professional. They may be imitated but without divine intervention they ring hollow.

The outstanding Christian leadership or executive coach will probably not set themselves up as the be-all-end-all of performance improvement gurus. But if they are thoroughly professional, bring extensive experience and understanding and have that God-given gift of getting to the core of things, they will make a game changing impact on the life, work and leadership of any leader and particularly those that identify themselves as Christian. Their reluctance to exalt themselves will be more than off-set by their capacity to move you forward.

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