Listen and empower — Have an open mind to hear what your team wants and let them have the reigns on new ideas/projects. This creates a work environment of trust. When I use this with my clients they soar past their expectations. When I was head coach at college, I was one of the few that listened to what each individual on my team brought to the table.

The number one leadership initiative in any organization today is improved coaching. Coaching empowers employees, empowerment drives engagement, and engagement drives performance. At its core, coaching is about transformation. Leading distributed teams requires transforming how we coach and changing our play calls and playbooks to get things done. As a part of our interview series called “Moving From Command & Control to Coaching & Collaboration; How Leaders and Managers Can Become Better Coaches,” we had the pleasure to interview Bonnie Frankel.

Bonnie was one of the10% women that was the head coach for both sexes at a division one college. She also is an exercise coach to all ages and helps them find the right exercise and to cross train with. Her philosophy of coaching is similar to the likes of Phil Jackson.

Thank you for joining us to explore a critical inflection point in how we define leadership. Our readers would like to get to know you better. What was a defining moment that shaped who you are as a leader?

When I engaged in a duel with the NCAA in where I strategically organized a game plan to change an eligibility rule for women to allow them to compete in a division one sport. When I believe in something, I will cleverly devise a plan to shift a wrong into a right. My fight defined me as an organized manager leader which opened the door for older women to be able to compete which made female sports into a multi-generation sport.

John C. Maxwell is credited with saying, “A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” How do you embody that quote as a leader?

My duel with the NCAA, and how I was able to achieve a successful result. You do need to devise a plan and be prepared to have a back- up plan to be flexible for any twists that can occur. It is important that you never stray from your focus to accomplish your goal. You need to show the way by not only winning but also participating in being the first to use it. I had a game plan and found a loop hole. I innately knew that this rule was wrong. The following was my strategic game plan: I used the media to get my message to the masses, then went to my athletic director to get his support, after that went to the vice president of student affairs, and lastly went to the head of our conference division. These steps culminated in my overturning the rule, and I was the first to use it.

How do you define the differences between a leader as a manager and a leader as a coach?

The main difference of the two is that the leader as a manager is the task master to a group in order to meet the goals. Whereas the leader as a coach motivates to ensure each individual in the group is working at its highest level of capacity. The leader as a coach makes it possible that the manager gets the target results. The manager and the coach are both essential in the process. The manager organizes the work to deliver results, and the coach drives team performances and inspires each individual to get to their next level of effectiveness. The manager is driven by collective performance and the coach is driven by the skill of individual performances. The manager overseas the big picture and the coach focuses on the individual.

We started our conversation by noting that improved coaching is the number one leadership initiative in any organization today. What are some essential skills and competencies that leaders must have now to be better coaches?

There are essential skills and competencies leaders must have today to improve their coaching skills. It’s when the skills and the competencies align together that the magic happens. The personal integrity of a leader is the key ingredient that makes a better coach. Leaders need to be qualified skilled moral experts which earns the respect of their employees so results will be attainable as well as impeccable. Effective communication employs the leader to be able to make clear in what his expectations are and the skill is the ability to listen to their employees when it is appropriate. Using emotional intelligence so that you have the ability to manage your emotions and the skill is to have empathy to understand the emotions of others when one is coaching. Leading innovation and change are relevant to provoke leaders to be more effective coaches as they are the skills to encourage their employees to win over the hearts and minds.

We’re all familiar with the adage, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” How are you inspiring — rather than mandating — leaders to invest in upskilling and reskilling?

In order for me to be inspiring for leaders to invest in upskilling and reskilling, I must be in atop-notch condition to represent my good product. My innovative theory in the business of exercise will ensure that my clients will be mentally sharp and physically fit for life by using upskilling and reskilling techniques. This enables me to attract a large following in my business as an exercise coach guru, not designed to be a one size fits all. The fact that I have a voluminous clientele demonstrates that I am winning and that attracts leaders. My secret is being intuitive and spending quality time using emotional intelligence with my clients. It is vital to be able to chart out new concepts and ways to update my knowledge of new techniques to keep their incentives active and strong. I use reskilling with my clients because they have changed course in what they prefer doing. The mutable strategy we both have agreed upon in their program helps take this to other areas in their life to be the best leaders and team players in other areas of their life.

Let’s get more specific. How do you coach someone to do their best work? How can leaders coach for peak performance in our current context? What are your “Top 5 Ways That Leaders and Managers Can Be Effective Coaches?”

Coaching each individual to do their best work is by you setting an example for them to emulate. The ability to do this is most inspiring to an individual to perform at their best level. Personalize your coaching as you hone in to their innate capacities and making sure that the person is getting the most out of the experience. Drop your ego, and listen to what they may contribute as well as to reinforce by praising their achievements and growth. Collaborate with them so that they feel their opinion is important as a team player. Hiring good coaches will not only encourage each individual to peak in their performance as it makes a winning team. The end result will make a great product. Leaders need to hire coaches who can bring to the table their exceptional talent of expertise in coaching individuals.

These are five ways leaders and managers can be effective coaches:

Listen and empower — Have an open mind to hear what your team wants and let them have the reigns on new ideas/projects. This creates a work environment of trust. When I use this with my clients they soar past their expectations. When I was head coach at college, I was one of the few that listened to what each individual on my team brought to the table.

Commit to continuous learning — This enables them to be ahead of others and thrive to identify the need for change when it arises and they are more likely to reward their teams for trying new things. This allows their company to thrive beyond belief. I am always challenging myself with new skills so that I use them and share them with my clients. This builds word of mouth followers.

Coach in the present moment — It is essential that you focus on the individual or group that is in view. Always remain open to whatever will emerge in the moment. When I coach individually with my mind in the now, that person feels my sincere belief in that they can go beyond their expectations.

Positive approach — Look at your cup half full. Be hopeful and see the best even in difficult situations. The most difficult situations usually provide us with growth that is unexpected which leads to a prize product. My worst years have been my best years because it challenges me to be a better leader.

Manage your own emotions — Ability to understand and manage your own emotions. This way you will be able to recognize/influence and be familiar with the emotions of those around you. When I execute my workout run it gives me the time to air out my emotions and come to a better understanding of me as well. This enables me to be in a better place to thrive as a leader.

We’re leading and coaching in increasingly diverse organizations. And one aspect of workforce diversity on the rise is generational diversity. What advice would you offer about how to effectively coach a multi-generational workforce? And how do you activate the collective potential of a multi-generational workforce?

Establish trust and respect because without that, your work force will not listen to you. I would activate employee coaching to help employees grow. Treat each age group with the same level of fairness. Respect in your relationships builds the feeling of trust, safety, and wellbeing. It is something you learn with experience.

You’re referring to emotional intelligence, in a sense. What are two steps every leader can take to demonstrate a higher level of emotional intelligence?

One step is to always question your own opinions and the other is to take responsibility for your feelings.

Words matter. And we’re collectively creating a new leadership language right now. What are the most important words for leaders to use now?

Believe in yourself, never give up, don’t be afraid to fail, find your passion, and humility.

I keep inspiring quotes on my desk. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote,” and why does it mean so much to you?

“If you think you know it all, you really know nothing.” I remember this quote Tommie Smith used when he was coaching me. It resonated with me through the years because it reminded me to always keep an open mind.

Our readers often like to continue the conversation. What’s the best way for readers to connect with you and to stay current on what you’re discovering?, google Bonnie Frankel, Facebook,

Thank you for a meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success with your mission.