Peyton Manning’s little-known success trait

One of Peyton Manning’s great strengths is that he is very coachable. Why does Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play football, need a coach? Because like all professional and college athletes as well as entrepreneurs, executives and salespeople, coaching makes him better. A coach’s job is to challenge, stretch, support, hold accountable, reward and celebrate those they coach.

Manning actually has three coaches: a head coach; an offensive coach; and a quarterbacks coach. From all accounts, he and Adam Gase, who is currently the offensive coordinator and was previously the quarterbacks’ coach have a great coaching relationship. Even though Gase is younger and far less experienced than Manning, Manning values Gase coaching him. Gase picks up little things that help Manning improve, and Manning wants to keep getting better.

For 28 years, I’ve mentally coached entrepreneurs, corporate executives and sales professionals as well as professional, Olympic and college athletes. I’ve noticed that leaders who have been successful over a long period of time generally have high coachability like Manning. Being coachable keeps them improving even when they are already great.

Are you coachable? Are you hungry to improve? When delivering mental training sessions at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOC), I could look around the room and know in the first few minutes which athletes believed they knew it all and which were coachable. As I followed these athletes’ careers for years, it became obvious that the athletes who continued to be great, longer than others were those who stayed hungry to learn.

At the USOC, athletes would attend my three-hour mental training session, and I was intrigued by the fact that the top athletes were really happy if they picked up one new little nugget they could use. Many of these athletes had studied high-performance psychology for years from a variety of sport psychologists, but they were looking for that one novel piece of information that would deepen their knowledge of how to use their minds to be more successful. They were coachable!

I’ve found the same thing with entrepreneurs and corporate executives. They have a thirst for learning and value coaching. A research survey done at the Stanford Business School, found that only 33 percent of CEOs receive outside coaching, however almost 100 percent said they enjoy the process of receiving coaching and leadership advice. The researchers concluded, “It’s lonely at the top.” Because most leaders, like other high performers, crave objective feedback value it when they receive it, but don’t get enough of it.

The Value of Executive Coaching

From the 2014 Executive Coaching Survey by Sherpa Coaching


What can you expect from an executive coach?

Here’s what a good executive coach can do for you.

Challenge. A good coach understands where you need to be challenged to grow. The challenge must meet you where you’re at.

Stretch. Your coach should stretch you through constructive, open questions. You should stretch yourself by committing to tough goals to achieve.

Create accountability. Your coach will create strong, positive accountability to raise your performance. I once coached a Tony Robbins Master Elite coach, and he increased his revenue 51 percent simply through the enhanced accountability we set up.

Support. Good coaches support you in challenging times to help you thrive through them. If you’re a leader, supporting others through their challenging times, it allows both you and those you lead to grow and improve in tough times.

Reward. Coaches provide rewards that inspire and motivate. It could be a handshake, a hug, a personal incentive gift. It could be just personal or team acknowledgement of the attainment of certain goals. A good coach doesn’t give out lots of rewards, but those that are given are powerful.

Celebrate. Coaches celebrate your victories with you. After a coach has stretched, challenged and supported you, the reward and celebration of goal achievement are vital and welcomed.

Working with a great executive coach, one who has the competency in the areas you need and with whom you have strong personal chemistry, will help you develop confidence where you need it and accelerate your success tremendously, just like Adam Gase does for Peyton Manning! That’s why executive coaching is gaining in popularity.

Categories: Management & Leadership