Five signs you are coaching Schettinos and not Sullenbergers

The name Schettino — the captain of  the luxury cruise liner that sank because of his actions — is now associated with cowardice, incompetence, and disregard for others. He stands in stark contrast to Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, the heroic and extremely competent captain who landed the plane on the Hudson River and saved the lives of hundreds.

Which type of clients are you attracting: Schettinos or Sullenbergers?

Here are the top five signs that you are coaching Schettinos and not Sullenbergers:

1. Your clients bear a striking resemblance — in attitude and behaviors, not necessarily appearance — to the Pointy-Haired Boss, or to his boss the narcissistic CEO, in Scott Adams' comic strip Dilbert.

2. Your clients have orchestrated numerous downsizings, while their own stock options, salaries, and perks keep going up. Or, if they are in the public sector, they constantly do what gets them political contributions and power rather than what is right for the people and our children/grandchildren.

3. Your clients keep telling you that they don't need coaching, but their employees definitely do.

4. Your clients seem to sacrifice results for any of Lencioni's Five Temptations of the CEO: status, being invulnerable, being popular, keeping the peace (harmony), and perfection. Add to this list: looking good at all costs, insisting on getting rather than giving credit, and blaming others when things go poorly.

5. Every time you meet with the client, your feel your soul sucking out of your body and think of some of TS Elliot's words:
"We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men….This is the way the world ends, This is the way the world ends, This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper."

If a few too many of your clients have the above symptoms, ask yourself why you are attracting this kind of clientele, and how you can start attracting the Sullenbergers of the world. They are much more fun and fulfilling to coach.

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