A Culture of Trust

The traditional leader focused on control, seeks to minimize risk, and pushes to be the initiator of action…A coaching, questioning leader develops a group that possesses and demonstrates a culture of trust, support, and open discussion.

Michael Marquardt, Leading with Questions

Before you can create a path of success for your coaches, you need an understanding of what drives them. Just like how athletes in your gym respond to different kinds of cues, each member of your team is motivated by various measures of success.

There are three primary motivators (with a nod toward a fourth - money - which matters, but not as much as you think):

  1. Autonomy - The freedom to design a path, to investigate & pursue better methods.

  2. Mastery - The ability to go deep, to practice relentlessly, to sharpen the ax. 

  3. Purpose - The drive to matter, to create change, to see & feel their impact.

Here's the best way to uncover someone's real motivation: Ask.

While we don't often talk or think about how we are motivated, you'd be surprised at how quickly someone can answer when presented with these three options. Often the look on their face when you reach the one that lights them on fire is all you need.

When it comes to building a team of hungry & loyal people, starting anywhere but here is a bit like tweaking someone's nutrition without asking them what they ate yesterday. It might work, or you may just default to the kind of advice that happened to have worked for you.

Different people with different motivations require different leadership.

Patrick Cummings