How to Coach and How to Lead

In Articles, M3Linked by Brian Town

As the NBA season began over the past few weeks, I have been reenergized by the excitement and motivation the players, coaches, and fans have for what’s possible. The start of this season was made even more special with the announcement of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. My inclusion to this list of incredible players is truly an honor, and one that made me think of the legendary teammates and coaches I had throughout my career.

Those connections enabled me to maximize my talents and reach the pinnacle of the sport. Looking back, they provide an invaluable lesson for anyone – particularly entrepreneurs and executives – in how to approach business collaboration. There are some differences between coaching and leading but combining the two unlocks potential you may never have thought possible.

From Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina to Pat Riley with the Los Angeles Lakers, I’ve been lucky to play for two of the most decorated coaches in basketball history – not to mention the countless assistants on those staffs. But while they hold the same title and role, coaches can come from every background and teach you in so many different ways. On one hand, I might learn two different playing styles. On the other hand, there is a consistent goal of reaching your potential and helping the team compete for a championship.

That’s one thing I love about M3Linked. Just because you’re an executive doesn’t mean you bring the same expertise as an executive in a different industry, generation, or community. And coming from different backgrounds doesn’t mean each owner has to target different goals.

It all comes down to leadership.

While coaching could be described as helping to hone specific skills and providing a blueprint to reach certain goals, leadership is a more intangible action. You don’t need a title in order to lead. You need a commitment to building relationships that motivate people to succeed.

That’s what I loved about playing for Dean Smith and Pat Riley. They weren’t simply geniuses when it came to X’s and O’s. They were also incredible mentors and motivators who found ways to inspire the most talented athletes in the world to reach even greater heights together as a team.

M3Linked does that for business leaders. Being in a Forum is so motivating because there are constant examples of collaboration that offer both a blueprint to success and the inspiration to act on those plans.

As I have spent more time around M3Linked members, I’ve been amazed by the talent and expertise on display and by the willingness of those leaders to be vulnerable about how they want to improve. But what impresses me even more is the willingness to reciprocate the value they receive and offer motivation to others. When they all bring that attitude to their communities, that collaboration lifts everyone toward their goals of success in business.

That’s what everyone wants and needs when they reach for the pinnacle. It’s about more than simply searching for a business coach. You should aim to build mutually beneficial relationships that energize and motivate everyone to grow.

Join your nearest M3Linked Forum to be a leader in your community and to help M3Linked lead the revolution in business collaboration.