In 1875, Harvard and Yale played one of the first American rules football games. At that time, Yale hired a coach. Harvard did not. Over the next three decades, Harvard only won four times.

What happened next?

Harvard hired a coach.

Over time, coaching became the way sports works––to the point of assigning the value of a coach at upwards of 6 million dollars today.

If the value of having a coach increases the potential of sports teams, does that value of increasing potential transfer into other fields?

According to Atul Gawande in his TedTalkWant to get great at something? Get a coach, YES.

It makes a difference in the medical field, in music, writing, education, and you-name-it field.

The value of having someone objectively observe, listen, question, and instruct when necessary has been recognized by the sport industry. Other industries are starting to get on board, including the educational field in which my team and I are primarily involved.

In their research study in 2015, Davide Celoria and Ingrid Roberson showed that coaching first year principals increases retention considering most new administrators leave within their first or second year. Coaching gives the new leaders a safe place to process emotional intensity as well as work-related stress.

Whatever field professionals find themselves, either an athletic field or the field of education or corporate business, the bottom line is that coaching makes a positive difference.

When you or your team aren’t reaching fullest potential, it may be time to do as Harvard did: call in a coach.

Reflection: When is the last time you were reflective with yourself about your unmet potential? How much more room will you allow yourself to grow as a leader?


Rachel Thalmann is an Executive Coach and Writer for INspired Leadership at ESSDACK, an educational service center. Her clients include but are not limited to administrators, coaches, and entrepreneurs who want to maximize their potential in business and life. You can email her: 

Visit the INL Team website.

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