How would Americans react to a presidential candidate who has a life coach?
Are you surprised to learn that political leaders hire personal coaches to help them deal with the pressures of being a public figurehead?
If you Google the terms “political leadership coach” or “political coach” in quotation marks, you’ll see a decent 500-800 page list of results that come up. Most of it is from organizations that offer leadership grooming and personal coaching for politicians and those who are on the path to a political career.
Even though coaching is for the most part an emerging field, there are enough types of coaches to say that the trend is continuing to grow. Coaching has been big in the corporate world for some time. Companies bring in motivational consultants to groom their future leaders, work on emotional intelligence and team dynamics, and empower both individuals and groups. When done right, this works to improve sales performance by fueling the organization to achieve more in less time and using less resources.
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There are personal coaches like me, who work with clients on general goals like success, happiness, and lifestyle design. Then there are those that specialize – you can find any number of organizational coaches, parenting coaches, spiritual coaches, body image coaches, marketing coaches… and more and more people are reaching out to these people to try and get some clarity, structure and purpose in their lives.
It makes a lot of sense that political leaders would seek out private consult in the form of a personal coach who can keep them on track with their goals. Politicians are under heavy pressure to be the answer men and women for the world’s biggest problems. But it’s much more than just thinking up solutions and forming systems. Politicians deal with the incredibly trying experience of being in the public eye at all times.
Imagine if every move you made became a feeding frenzy for the media. Imagine if the simple act of crossing the street with your son or daughter made front page headlines because someone felt the need to “spin” your story and fuel their own personal agenda at the expense of your reputation. Bloggers… virtual nobodies who have no idea about how governments operate… having a field day with a single nugget of news and then hoisting their opinions on the world. (Think Lindsay Lohan’s political views have any merit? Well, she’s blogging her thoughts on this year’s election to the world! If you were running for office, would you be scared? Personally, I’d be terrified.)
That’s what today’s politicians and political candidates are dealing with, every day. We look to them as though they’re God and expect them to solve the world’s every pressing issue. Then, when the press reveals their human and fallible nature, we cut them down and hold them up for public scrutiny and ridicule!
Is it any wonder that political leaders and other high profile individuals rely on coaches to be their personal advisor, private confidant, accountability partner and motivation?
We’re in an election year, and that means that if you turn on the TV or radio, you’re bound to encounter some mud slinging. But these days, with the world connected to the internet 24-7, the mud is getting heavier and the tactics are becoming more and more cutthroat.
Can we trust the media for accurate portrayals of the men and women who have risen to political power in our country? Based on what I’ve seen, I’m inclined to say no!
In some circles, having a life coach is perceived as a really cool thing, like therapists were in the 70s and 80s. In others, having someone to lean on for an outside perspective is perceived as being a crutch.
What do you think? Would you rather have a president that listens exclusively to close political advisors? Or, one who also works with someone who tells him/her the truth 100% of the time and empowers them to think for themselves? Someone who has a professional without a vested interest who supports them, helps them see new solutions to new problems, and holds them accountable to their goals.
Share you thoughts in the comments section, below. I look forward to learning about your views.
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