Being a coach isn’t easy. Today we’re going to look at one in particular – the guru of gurus, master Yoda from the ever culturally potent and relevant Star Wars. Yoda is a wealth of wise and pithy sayings, so we’ll look at just a few.
“Always pass on what you have learned.” – Yoda led by teaching and by example.
Yoda was not only an endless well of wise sayings, but he also acted as a leader by giving those around him someone to follow. You can be a useful example for your team and show them the right way to get things done. It doesn’t mean becoming a salesperson again – Yoda never acted as a front line grunt. But he knew when to come in and lead and when to step out.
“Patience you must have” – Yoda knew success doesn’t come overnight.
Patience is a key and to wait for the right balancers of the Force to come along. Patience while those vital characters were in training, or we’re distracted by other pursuits. It is the same thing in any business – no good thing develops overnight. Viral sensations fade as quickly as they come. To build something that will last, that has the foundation to be consistently successful, takes time. And a great deal of patience.
“That is why you fail” – Yoda told it like it was.
He was an encouraging guru. Yoda didn’t hesitate to speak the truth or offer criticism that would help the learner improve. When Luke failed to lift the fighter from the swamp the first time, did Yoda browbeat him? Humiliate him? No and no. But, he did tell Luke exactly why he hadn’t been able to do it. A good coach always knows when to offer honest, constructive criticism, and a good student of any skill will still be able to learn from that.
“If no mistake has you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play” – Yoda understood that flexibility is as important as strength.
There are many ways to win battles. If a tactic or business strategy isn’t working, you don’t keep trying that same thing over and over and over again and expect it to work eventually. If you don’t see the results you want, change it up. Try new practices, new games. Maybe you haven’t even made a mistake; you just haven’t found the right tool or catalyst. Don’t stop looking!
“You will find only what you bring in.” – Yoda knew that, in the end, it is up to the individual to find the will to succeed.
You can be the best coach you know how to be, give them all the advice you can, set out guidelines, offer encouragement, but in the end, only that person can determine their success. If they have insecurities or weak spots, only they can ultimately deal with the issues. And eventually, ideally, what they bring in will be confidence, enthusiasm, and a terrific knack for closing. And that will be theirs too.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda cut no slack. Yoda required results.
By far, Yoda’s most famous quote, these are words for anyone to live by. As a business owner or anyone in charge of leading salespeople and making sure they are successful, you know that “try” is not measurable. “I tried to close a dozen people today,” means nothing on any metric ever invented. Only what is done can be measured. Maybe this doesn’t mean demanding the same products every day regardless of effort. It means perhaps choosing different things to measure.
May the Force be with you.