Where to invest

Question: Who’s more motivated, the Olympic athlete, or the Olympic coach?

Answer: Both. The athlete wants to be the best (and therefore most successful) athlete they can be, and the coach wants to be the best (and therefore most successful) coach they can be.

So, if you’re a leader, manager or team-mate in your business and have a coaching role as part of that, then who would you rather work with, someone who exhibits a strong desire to improve and a willingness to change, or someone who’s attitude is “so here I am, develop me”. The fact is you can’t coach someone who doesn’t want to be coached so the question of where to invest has already been made.

Consider these four groups of coachee’s, or performers, and decide which group you would be best investing in:

These people are here for the ride and aren’t too bothered in what direction. In fact they’re happy to wait around before setting off. They see development as someone else’s responsibility but not their own. The bigger the organisation, the larger the training department, the more comfortable the ride is.


These people know what they want and are waiting for someone else to provide it. They might say things like, “if only someone would help me with…” or after the event might say “no-one showed me how to…”. Good at navigating but not very proactive in getting there.


These people take an active responsibility, interest and participation in their own development. They will suggest targets and objectives, come up with ideas for development and initiate their own learning and they will ask questions of their coach and listen to suggestions and take on board feedback. Two people, performer and coach, working on one person’s performance.


These people know where they’re going and know how to get there. They’re sometimes so busy driving they haven’t got the time or inclination to consider other possibilities, let alone ask questions or listen. They’re more likely to use a coach just to tell someone where they’ve been and where they’re going next.

So if you’ve got limited time or energy for coaching, and you want to choose where to invest, why not focus on someone who’s as closely motivated to an Olympic athlete as you have, who’s also interested in finding a co-driver.