What’s integrity have to do with it?


Integrity, honesty and ethics cause something extraordinary.

The first coach I saw on television was Dr. Phil.

Integrity? Coaching? Leadership? These were my questions. I was struck by the idea that anyone who was being coached on that program was being seen by millions of people. While I think Dr. Phil has done some remarkable things and some very good work, There has been a skewed concept of what being a coach means. However, there is a certain fascination with watching a discussion of people’s grievances on television. It might take your mind off of yours, if only for the moment. But what I see on television, and what I experience as a coach, are very different, vastly different processes.

In general if you see someone on television, in front of the whole world, it’s likely that the subject’s ego is wrapped around being seen. My experience with that is generally the need to be seen, gets in the way of having a transformative experience.

There was hope and I say that loosely …

… when I saw the Billions TV show. In the show is a powerful coach. and in the beginning as I said I was hopeful. There are some great coaching moments, all scripted of course. She asks powerful questions. In later seasons, true to the dramatic format of TV, my experience of her is that of using coaching as a manipulation.

In a positive example: Showtimes’ Billions S1 E5 Wendy, Axe Capital’s Performance Coach, goes to Bobby Axelrod’s home, (Bobby is the founder and CEO of Axe Capital.) doing what it takes to press in on his decision to liquidate the company. She asks him not to go halfway, to go all in and to make a decision. He says he has. She lets him know she thinks he hasn’t if he has his henchman, Wags, inform his investors. She opens up the idea that he take the action which is going to engender the most respect. She tells him straight, and yet she’s hoping that by telling his investors, he will make a different decision. At the same time, she reassures him that she is going to handle whatever decision he makes. You see her struggle with keeping a clear field, she pays her prices up front when she reminds him of a similar decision he made. He’s clearly committed to his decision and the rest of the episode is Bobby meeting with various investors.

The second example is not so flattering:

Wendy meets with Taylor, Taylor is Bobby’s arch-rival, leaving him after being Axelrod’s right hand. Wendy has had a rough time after her husband shares his sexual predilections with the public and so it seems she clearly intends to connect, personally and in friendship with Taylor. She uses what she knows … information she gathered during her coaching sessions with McFee, who went with Taylor’s firm over Axelrod’s firm. McFee had previously shared something in a session with Wendy. She takes this act in order to please her boss, to undercut McFee and in the process, is reported to the licensing board clearly having damaged her integrity. In any profession where confidentiality is required, there is a danger. One which we at Bullseyecoach, are well aware. And why we only work with coaches certified at the highest levels of the coaching profession. bullseyecoach.com/products-service

Why do we believe personal integrity and honesty is so important? For that answer, another example will illustrate my point. I was approached by the President of a pension fund management company, asking me to coach his people. In the beginning I viewed it as a great opportunity. Performance coaching of that nature, tied to results makes the advantage of coaching easier to track. It came to light that no one in his firm was telling the truth, about anything. While that sounds like an exaggeration; it is not. Each of the people in that firm were having affairs, and not in open marriages. One person even had a home elsewhere that their spouse knew nothing about. I tell you this without mentioning names, or places, or titles or any of that, to protect the President. How can you trust someone who lies to the people to whom they have vowed their loyalty?

It is my belief that “how we do anything, is how we do everything.”

In keeping with that belief, it is likely that the pattern of dishonesty transfers from the home to the business. This belief, put another way, “as is the smaller world, so is the larger world”, serves me and my clients when looking at patterns of behavior, being able to interrupt those patterns to affect the results that they desire. It is very easy to overlook people’s personal lives, and try to deal only with the business of the business. In fact, many people use work as a way to avoid the discomfort of growth. Until you’re ready to look at your life holistically, you are not ready to be coached with integrity in a transformative manner. And it’s unlikely to move the needle in transforming your office or business.

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