On February 3, 2019, Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to victory over the LA Rams in Super Bowl LIII. It's Brady's SIXTH super bowl victory, and also the sixth for the Patriots. Tom Brady is well on his way to the NFL Hall of Fame. Still, at 40 years of age, he plans to continue playing football with hopes of adding to his collection of super bowl rings.
If Brady is successful by all definitions in professional football, why does he still have a coach?
Coaches support achievement. Achievement is attained through a combination of talent & character. That is why athletes have coaches. And while not all athletes achieve the goal of a Super Bowl ring, an Olympic Goal Medal, or even an opportunity to compete at a National Championship, all understand that a coach is essential if they are serious about competing at a high level. Having a coach (or more than one) is a natural part of the program.
I have met leaders who readily embraced the opportunity for coaching, leaders who were more skeptical but curious, and leaders who viewed having a coach as a sign of failure. Imagine Tom Brady thinking that having a coach was a sign of failure.
If having a coach is a sign of failure, then I am proud to be among the biggest failures on the planet. I hired my first coach 12 years ago (Brady & Patriots' Head Coach, Bill Bellichick, have been together 19 years). At the time, I was finishing my first coach training, starting my business, and making some big life decisions. What I got from the relationship with my coach went far beyond making decisions and achieving business goals. Yes, the "doing" was important; the "becoming" -- the character building and development of self-leadership -- was (and continues to be) the most powerful and lasting result.
A coach can help you take self-awareness to a whole new level. You become an even better leader in your own life, consistently seeking growth and mastery in self-leadership -- assuming you want to and you put in the work.
Personally, I find that my greatest obstacles to achievement of my vision are the ones I created and put there. For example, I've struggled with weight most of my life -- since about 4th grade. I have gained and lost -- it's a pattern with me. Like everyone else, the key for me is both eating well (avoiding sugar) and exercising. When I had a mini-gym in my basement, I was most consistent in my workouts. I could workout alone, in peace. But when my basement gym went away, I dreaded going to fitness centers. To me, fitness centers were the most judgmental places in the world. My coach helped me work through the self-judgment, as well as to identify what trigggered it. And in January, I started a 10-week program at our local kickboxing gym. Now I am a person who works out every morning at 6 am. I am working diligently, one day at a time, one workout at a time, to improve my health & fitness. I get excited about little achievements -- like last week when I did a 60 second straight arm plank for the first time in a long time. It's all another step in my own self-leadership mastery.
When you master self-leadership, others naturally want to follow you. It's the ultimate expression of leading by example. I am a work in progress. I know others who I consider much farther along than me in their mastery of self-leadership. And as every master knows, there's always more to learn -- even for Tom Brady. As basketball coach, John Wooden, says, "It's what you learn, after you know it all, that counts." Or as Bill Belichick says, "Talent sets the floor; character sets the ceiling."
What's your Super Bowl? What is keeping you from achieving your big goal? Do you want to take your own performance to the next level? Need to work on your character and improve self-leadership?
A coach can help. Even Tom Brady has a coach.