Listen as executive coach, Scott McBride, discusses Emotional Intelligence

Listen to the Chattahoochee Driftwood leadership podcast to hear a discussion with executive coach Scott McBride on the importance of emotional intelligence for a leader.

Scott McBride

Executive Coaching – Coach BG

Dealers in Hope

Leaders are (or should be) “dealers in hope”.  Do you give hope to those you lead? Do you encourage their hearts? Do you know how?

Following are some thoughts from James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s book – A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders.

Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward.

Successful leaders have high expectations of themselves and of their constituents. (a truism I have lived by is that the people you lead meet your expectations of them – be they high or low).

Give personal and meaningful recognitionsometimes all you need to do is say “thank you”.  A personal handwritten note is very powerful and so easy to do!

Celebrate victories together and help foster a sense of community.

Ensure what you preach and what you celebrate are one and the same. (People quickly recognize if there is a disconnect in what you say and what you really value).

Be personally involved.  Leadership is a very personal thing. Leadership is a relationship!

So – go be a “dealer in hope” for those you serve and lead.

Hope you have a great weekend,

Leading By Example – Some Questions for Evaluation

Leading by example – I am sure you have heard that and probably often said it.  The question for all of us – are we actually living it?  Or do we sometimes feel that because of our position we somehow are exempt from the “rules”.

Another question – do we really know what our values are and do we actually live by them?

In their book, A Coach’s Guide To Developing Exemplary Leaders, Kouzes and Posner have some diagnostic questions that help you to evaluate if you are setting the right personal example for those you lead.

1. What do you think it means to “set a personal example”?

2. What are your top three defining values?

3. Imagine that you are setting the perfect personal example; what would it look like?

4. How will you know what the expectations are?

5. What do you wish leaders you’ve worked for in the past had done more? Less?

6. Who can you relate to that is a good example of setting a personal example?

7. Where do you think there might be a disconnect between what you say and what you do?

8. Why should someone follow you?

9. If your team could select its leader, would they choose you? Why do you think that?

Some great questions – might be a good exercise to take some time and answer  over the next few days.





Empowering Ministry and Nonprofit Leaders

One of my primary passions is coming alongside Christian leaders and helping them to become more effective in their calling.

To grow in this area I signed up with Ministry Coaching International and began their certification process, which has been a blessing.  This week, I received my certification as a leadership coach!

As part of the process, I have been coached for most of the year by Pastor Dave Kraft who is the  Director of Leadership Development and Coaching in The Resurgence, a ministry of Mars Hill Church as well as  a coach for Ministry Coaching International.  He is also the author of Leaders Who Last – a good book to add to your toolbox.

It has been a great process.  I have started coaching some men and it is a blessing to come alongside men who want to and are making a difference.

Well, it’s been a good week for me – a Life Action Ministries Board of Directors meeting in beautiful North Carolina this week as well!

Blessings on your weekend.


The Ten Commitments of Leadership (plus one)

James Kouzes and Barry Posner are widely recognized experts in the field of leadership.  Their book, The Leadership Challenge, is considered a classic in leadership literature.

They also have a 2010 book out – A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders that is excellent.

In that book they list The Ten Commitments of Leadership that are excellent in my opinion.

The Ten Commitments are grouped under five major headings

Model the Way

1. Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared ideals.

2. Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.

Inspire a Shared Vision

3. Envision the future by imaging exciting and ennobling possibilities.

4. Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.

Challenge the Process

5. Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.

6. Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.

Enable Others to Act

7. Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships.

8. Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.

Encourage the Heart

9. Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.

10. Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community.

A great list.  I would add one thing from The Way of the Shepherd – you must have the heart of a shepherd towards those you lead.  Leadership is a lifestyle.


“Wherever You Are…Be Fully There” – Smart Phones and Meetings

You are in a meeting making your presentation – a presentation that you have spent many hours on and have fretted over.  You have poured yourself into this project.  The others in the meeting have asked for your presentation as they know your passion for the subject and have said that they really want to hear you.

Everyone walks in to the meeting and promptly takes out their smart phones and lay them face up on the table in front of them.

You start into your presentation with passion – then you hear that familiar sound of a smart phone vibrating on a hard surface.  Immediately everyone looks at their phone.  You stop, but the offender says to go on, he will keep up.  As you “keep on” the person is now furiously “thumbing” away on his phone and occasionally grunting or saying uh-huh to try to make you think he is really paying attention to your presentation.  Then you hear the vibration of another phone and someone else is now “thumbing” away.

How does that make you feel?  For me – not too well.

Tim Stevens on his blog, Leading Smart, has a great post on this subject and five suggestions on how to deal with this bad habit.  Take a few minutes and check out his post on this very annoying subject as he deals with the core issue of valuing others.

Have a great weekend!


Eight Necessary Skills of a Coaching Leader

In his book, Becoming a Coaching Leader, Daniel Harkavy shares the abilities or skills that are necessary for a coaching leader.  This is a great list for any leader, but so needed if you are really intent on growing or coaching others into impactful leaders.

Active Listening and Powerful Questioning – Questions have a power all their own, and the best way to show others that we care about them is to truly listen to what they say.  Active listening is all about asking questions that cause the player to peel back the onion, to get to the heart of performance issues, or to reveal limiting beliefs.

Learn How to Take Good Notes – You will master active listening and powerful questioning more quickly if you learn to write down, or to enter into your system, all the key points that you discuss during a coaching session.

Give Clear, Appropriate, and Concise Direction – A good coach gives his or her team members a road map, a direction . . . The coach helps them to develop a game plan so that they see what’s required for them to improve.

Help Others Create Concise Action Plans – Every coaching interaction should include the creation of new Action Plans as well as follow-up on existing Action Plans.  Those plans should move your teammate closer to fulfilling his or her long-term strategy or goal. Don’t overload your teammate with too many Action Plans, and try not to leave any coaching session without forming any Action Plans.  Don’t go above seven Action Plans and three to five open Action Plans seems best.

Tell the Truth and Value Accountability – A great coach knows how to address an individual’s misconceptions and possible blind spots in a way that will highlight the problem without crushing the person.  Many leaders avoid conflict at all costs – but not a coaching leader.  Coaching leaders don’t enjoy conflict, but understand that healthy conflict is necessary for an individual’s growth.  You are making sure your teammates do what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it, and in a way that brings them success.  Accountability is the friend of the top performer.

Become Proficient at Storytelling – Coaching leaders use stories, use word pictures, and employ different styles of creative communication to help teammates understand what needs to be done.  Often when teammates seem stuck or are in a rut, the limiting factor is their perspective.  So stories are a great way to let them see what you see – to change their perspective.

Stay on Track and on Time – Be respectful of those you are coaching – start and end on time – it is simply good manners.

Communication: The Big Difference Maker – Coaching is communicating.  What separates a coaching leader from a leader is how they communicate.  Coaching leaders listen carefully and then speak careful words that instill belief and confidence, enabling those they coach to make better decisions and improve their performance.

If you are interested in becoming a coaching leader – one who grows and empowers other leaders, then these are some skills you need to learn.  And Becoming A Coaching Leader is a good book to add to your “toolbox”.

Change somebody’s life today and make an impact for eternity!


Leadership Coaching – Life Plan “Accounts”

I have been sharing some things from Daniel Harkavy’s book, Becoming a Coaching Leader. Last Friday, as I mentioned, I took the day and worked on my Life Plan as I described earlier. One of the things Daniel has you do is to develop the major “accounts” in your life and then to address what you are going to do with those accounts.

Some examples of accounts are:

• God

• Spouse

• Children

• Ministry

• Finances

• Health

• Career

• And others

You get the idea.

The next step is to articulate, in writing, your Purpose Statement for that account, your Vision Statement for that account, and then the specific actions you are going to take in order to achieve your vision for that account.

An example of the account for your Wife:

Purpose: To love her as Christ loves the Church. Ephesians 5:25-33.

Vision: At age 75, we will be able to reflect back on our lives and marvel at how Christ has truly knit us together as one and how our marriage has reflected the relationship of Christ and the Church to those around us. We will have a life filled with rich relationships with family and friends. It will be a marriage of love, purpose, romance and fun that has been enriched from dealing with adversity together through the Grace of Jesus Christ.


• Pray with her every night before going to sleep.

• Read Scripture with her daily.

• Take her on a date weekly.

• Take two weekend getaways a year – one before June 30 and the second before November 30.

As you might imagine – your action steps need to be specific and measurable. And then – accountability. You need to share these with someone that you trust and that you invite them to and allow them to hold you accountable to following through with your commitments.

So, that was one example of how you would structure an “Account”. It is a great exercise.