Playing the game and coaching the game are two very different things, yet we see far too many companies promote their highest performers into leadership positions, only to see them fail. This move can have a detrimental impact on the team’s performance because all they’ve ended up doing is taking their best player off the field.
It is not to say that all players make bad coaches, however, they may not always be the right fit. There is also no evidence to prove that coaching success is dependent on having playing experience.
While having playing experience can benefit coaching later on, it is not a major determinant of successful coaching. The benefits of having playing experience is that players are able to learn about coaching first-hand. For instance, in sports, players have more sport-specific understanding like tactical and technical knowledge of the game. While this only makes up a part of what is required of a coach, the remainder is what happens behind the scenes.
All the responsibilities that coaches have outside of training such as preparation, planning and management, are crucial skills for success. Lacking these coaching traits tends to be the issue for some former players who turn to coaching, as they only possess tactical and technical knowledge. Studies have shown that coaches who weren’t elite players previously, have better coaching skills all-round due to their time and experience in growing these proficiencies..
In corporate companies, the principle is the same. The best employees don’t necessarily make the best leaders. While their great skill and knowledge in the playing field can help them in a leadership role, there is a lot more that’s required.. Some employees will naturally have coaching abilities while others may require additional education to be great in this role.
The key takeaway here is that the skills and talents that make a great player are different from what’s needed in a great leader. Have you defined which behaviors and traits you want to see in your team members who are looking to become leaders?
Want to bring out the best leaders in your organisation? At Performance by Design, we specialise in helping organisations with culture, management and growth. We offer a range of programs and solutions that will help drive your organisational success. Read more about our 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring program to see how you can take your leadership to the next level. Contact us today to see how we can work together on your team and performance strategies.