118: Excellent Leaders are Great Mentors and Coaches | Don Cates

Don Cates is the President and CEO at Three Rivers Federal Credit Union and he is passionate about mentorship and coaching. 

In this episode, Nikki and Don dive deep into the meanings of excellent leadership and how coaching and mentoring are intertwined. With anyone he mentors, Don makes sure that he promotes failure. Listen in to learn how failure and a “we” mentality can make all the difference in individual growth.

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Learn more about the PeopleForward Network: www.peopleforwardnetwork.com

Truth You Can Act On 

1. Promote Failure as a Positive
Supporting Quote
Don Cates: “When I think of excellent coaching, I think of promoting failure. It’s recognizing the benefit of failure in those who we are coaching. If we really want to put those who we care about, that we work with, and want them to be better and really want to push them outside their comfort area, we have to be comfortable with their failure, and they have to be comfortable with their failure. The most important aspect of that, especially if the coach is also in a leadership position, is they need to be comfortable with your comfort with them failing.”

2. Use “We” in Your Coaching
Supporting Quote
Don Cates: “I emphasize where we are. You and me in this crap show of a failure. There’s nobody I’d rather be here with to get us out of here than you, and the pressure goes off, right? I’m not going to get fired. There’s not going to be any disappointment. There’s going to be support. You’re going to be here by me and I want to be here with you. The failure is still there. The fears go. We are in this together.”

3. Leverage Your Tools to Scale
Supporting Quote
Don Cates: “So with engaged mentoring, it is the platform that you build. It is the opportunity to out and choose mentors outside of our organization. There’s a benefit to that is to get an outside perspective. And I challenge people when they go find a mentor, look for a mentor, get somebody who’s not like you. Go find somebody who’s really going to push you. That’s going to tell you things and challenge you in ways that you haven’t before. And sometimes you have to go outside your own company, outside your own state to find that person. So I think that the cool part about it is the wealth of mentors who are out there and the engagement is short enough that I can get a piece and, and learn from it. I can grow from it. I can continue it if we both agree. But if not, you know, I got something from that. So that platform allows that, but then it also gives training on how to be a good mentor.”

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