MCR modelIf someone asked where you learned the skills to be a leader, what would you say? Was it in formal schooling, organized sports, family or a specific job experience? I think you would have great difficulty putting your finger on any one source. Rather, you would realize that it was a combination of all of your training and background, a tapestry of life experiences.

So what is it that makes a person adopt, maintain or discard a behavior as they create their tapestry? Personally I credit certain individuals, who I will call “MCR coaches”, for providing the direction I needed to create my own unique skill set.

An “MCR Coach” is a person who does more than just coach. First they Model the behavior they want to impart, such that a person is open and anxious to learn from them. And after they Coach, they Require a change. Let me explain with examples from my life.


Early in my career, I read the autobiography of Lee Iacocca. I learned that as he led Chrysler, he kept his life in balance by putting his family first. I determined to do the same, but may never have succeeded without witnessing the behavior first hand. Reg was my boss, coach and owner of the company I led. He modeled the family first principle. He worked hard, delivered exceptional results but always lived for his family first. He modeled the example that I hoped could be played out in reality, and I was therefore wide open to his coaching.


Think of the word coach as an acronym. Jeff was a board member of a company I ran, and subsequently sold. As I considered my next job, I asked for his advice. I chose him because we had Connected on a very personal level. Jeff had Observed me for 9 years, and Assessed my strengths and weaknesses. He was able to Clarify good and bad choices, and assist me in How to launch the next phase of my career.


Require is likely the toughest part of coaching, as it creates a certain degree of discomfort. The coach cannot just lob out ideas and hope they stick, but often must hold the student’s feet to the fire. As a young salesman, Tony, my sales manager built a strong bond with me and provided great coaching. But he didn’t stop there. One day, he confronted me on my sales numbers. I was behind target. His message was clear. He believed in and supported me, but I must make the required sales, or find another job. I was rocked, but I responded. Two years later, I was in the top three in national sales. His “require” was the reality check I needed.

Do you want to be a great coach? Learn to practice “MCR” coaching.