What Really Separates World-class Leaders of High-Performance Teams (or “Coach”) From Most Managers

 In High-Performance Teams

Have you ever wondered what really separates world-class leaders of high-performance teams from most managers?

After an exhaustive five-year research project we completed along with Ipsos, one of the world’s leading research firms, we made a breakthrough discovery that…

…not only upends years of conventional thinking in the industry…

…but more importantly, could have profound implications on your team’s performance (and your career) for years to come.

In short, we discovered the fundamental difference between world-class leaders of high-performance teams and most managers, didn’t come down to their experience, their strengths—or even traditional management tactics or leadership skills, as the industry has led us to believe.

The fundamental difference between world-class leaders of high-performance teams and most managers primarily came down to ONE THING: their approach. They didn’t act like a manager; they acted like a Coach.

Two Sides to Management


More specifically, we discovered that there are really two sides to management: the process side and the people side.

The process side deals with all the hard skills: the planning, the scheduling, the reporting, the analyzing, etc.

Most managers we analyzed were pretty good at the process side to management. But the people side? Not so much.

Surprisingly, we discovered that the reason most managers aren’t very good at the people side to management isn’t even really their fault. Because when it comes to the people side to management, most managers have never been taught the right approach.


Despite all the hype and hyperbole, we discovered that there are really four different types of managers, and each type of manager has a very distinctive style—or approach—which impacts the level of rapport they have with their team members and how productive they are.

You have the Nice-Guy Manager, the Do-It-All Manager, the Micromanager, andthen this elite, world-class leader of high-performance teams: the Coach.

Now, you may be thinking… You can’t put me in a box. My management approach depends on the situation.

The truth is, you actually do have a distinctive management approach—whether you realize it or not.

How can I be so certain? Because we have literally asked this question to thousands of managers and their team members from all over the world.

What’s so interesting is that, while most managers would like to believe that their management approach depends on the situation, their team members have no problem putting them in a box—and rarely is it in the upper right-hand corner!

As a quick aside, that reminds me of a funny story…

A while back I was conducting a live workshop for a group of 50 or so managers. We had a great cross-functional group in the room, everyone from the EVP on down to frontline managers and everyone in between.

We got to a similar point in the workshop where I asked the group, “How many of you would consider yourselves to be more of a Micromanager?”

Not surprisingly, not a single had went up in the air. Not too long thereafter, we started breaking down this new management approach we call the “Coach” and I asked a similar question. “How many of you would consider yourselves to be more of a Coach?”

Immediately, in the back of the room, one of the VPs threw up his hand in the air with complete confidence, clearly indicating that he was certain he was a Coach.

Not too long thereafter, we had a break. And one of the directors who was sitting up in the front came up to me and whispered, “You know the guy in the back of the room who threw up  his hand claiming that he was a Coach?”

I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “That’s my boss… total Micromanager.”

That’s a true story, I promise.

Here’s the point I’m trying to make: Just like that VP and my story (and perhaps your story and/or some of your manager’s stories as well)…

…as managers we all suffer from self-deception in that, we fail to realize that oftentimes there’s a BIG disconnect between how we perceive our management approach and how our team members perceive it.

Now look, regardless of whether you’re currently more of a Nice-Guy Manager, a Do-It-All Manager, a Micromanager or even somewhat of a Coach…

…there is always room for improvement. There is always another level.

And the only way you can reach that next level is if you change your approach. Stop acting like a manager and become a Coach.

Here’s the good news: we discovered that it is possible to short cut the process and fast track this transformation, saving you years (or even decades) of trial-and-error trying to figure things out on your own…

…IF you follow 3 simple steps…

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