In the first installment of false coaches, we talked about The Preacher. This time we will discuss another very common false coaching persona: the Drill Sergeant. You may know the type, and perhaps you know it a little too well. Most of us have all come across this person in our careers. They equate volume to passion and believe misery is a rite of passage on the way to greatness.
This person doesn’t believe anyone will work as hard as needed unless they are constantly pushing the performer to find more business. In many cases, they believe people are soft and don’t work as hard as they used to when they were younger. Their default position is that more effort and difficulty is the key to success. Their inspiration comes from telling people to try harder and to put in more hours.
Coaches must hold people accountable for their effort and intensity. They need to ensure that performers are doing what is required to improve. They need to push people beyond their self-limitations from time to time. However, driving people into the ground day in and day out is not coaching.
This is especially true when you are dealing with performers who have already reached some level of achievement. First, they have options. If they are truly good, they will leave and find a more conducive place to grow and excel. Second, they are intrinsically motivated. They know how to work hard, set goals and drive towards results. They have done it multiple times in their life, so they do not need some miserable, grouchy person in their face all the time. Third, it doesn’t work to tell people what they are doing wrong or even what they should be doing better. The answers must come from within the performer, and the coach is there to guide them to the path of discovery.
If you want to be a Drill Instructor, join the Marines and see if you have what it takes to be a DI. They are the best. If that is not your objective, tone it down. Start coaching.