Friday, March 12, 2010

Why use the term coach?

In my work, I've had many labels applied to me. On bad days, they may not be so pretty; but most days, they are terms of endearment for what I try to provide the people I work with.

Recently, I got in a discussion about these terms and why "Coach" was the best term (other terms included: shepherd, evangelist, guru).
Coach is a great term because a coach is a person that is invested in success/failure (winning/losing), but isn't normally on the field doing the work. Their job is to provide the mentoring and tools (and environment) for the team to be able to succeed. They rally the team when they are down, and they point out the obvious when the team won't face it. They uphold the team values, and drive them to continuously improve. Finally, the focus is never on the coach, but the team's performance.
This is true in sports, and is true in agile environments.

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