Transformational > Transactional

CEO’s from nearly 200 leading American companies (Business Roundtable) broke decades-old doctrine last week by issuing a statementon the “purpose of a corporation.” They stated that advancing the interests of their shareholders is no longer their sole responsibility. Instead, they are committing to benefiting all shareholders by “delivering value to customers, investing in employees, dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers, supporting the communities they work in, protecting the environment and generating long-term value for shareholders.”

These leaders understand that with their resources and influence come much expectation and responsibility. They’re moving from  transactional to transformational leadership. It’s a concept employed by 13-year NFL veteran, author, speaker and longtime high school football coach, Joe Ehrmann, who was given the title, “The Most Important Coach in America,”by Parade Magazine. His philosophy for coaching begins with four key questions as a compass for the transformational leader.

Why do I coach? 
What’s your purpose in leadership? Are you in it for the spotlight, the money or the power? Or is it to serve, give value and change lives? In Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk (45+ million views), he shared that most companies focus on the “what” and the “how” — but the power to transform comes from the “why.” Erhmann stated, “Winning and losing, in my coaching manifesto, is a consequence of a ‘why’, not a ‘why’ in itself.”

Why do I coach the way I do?
Why do you lead and communicate in such a manner? Is it merely because that’s how you were coached? Or have you done the work to become more self-aware and mindful? Do you intentionally observe the unique personalities, strengths and weaknesses of those whom you coach? 

What does it feel like to be coached by me?
Put yourself in your players’ or employees’ shoes. How does it feel to be led by you? Your words and actions have great influence. You have the keys to inspire and unlock greatness in each individual. What do they need to experience and hear in order to become their best? LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said, “The essence of coaching is to coach each player like he is your own child.” That takes tremendous intention and care with every relationship. 

How do I define success?
What’s the standard? Is success winning championships or adding to the bottom line? Is that what it’s all about? Ehrmann said, “People often ask what kind of success my team will have this season. I tell them I will let them know in twenty years.” Success for Coach Ehrmann is determined by the character of the men he is molding. 

As I write this, I can’t help but pause and think about the bigger picture behind my habits, words, actions and the decisions I make. How do I use the influence I have over my three sons? How do I use the daily opportunities to impact others? I want to be prayerful and intentional. ALL of us are in leadership positions in some capacity, and with that comes a privilege to leave others better off than before. Take a moment today to revisit your why and how you can best use your influence to lift others up!

Explore Further:
In the book “InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives” Joe Ehrmann shares his story and leadership philosophy. His success on the football field as a player and coach is only surpassed by the impact he has in peoples’ lives. 

“I am certain of one thing: Coaches can either break young people’s psyches or build their souls.”
“Winning was the by-product of teaching, nurturing, and prioritizing our players’ developmental needs and honoring the sacred journey of each boy.”

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3 thoughts on “Transformational > Transactional

  1. connie barenkamp August 30, 2019 — 7:33 pm

    This is exactly the content I love, Trent. Not joking, wish you had a podcast. ♥Connie

    1. Thank you Connie – means a lot! More than anything, I just hope to share some uplifting and beneficial thoughts…Now about that podcast 🤔🤔

      1. You can just read your own posts. That way I can listen to them in your voice during my commute.


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