This last Thursday evening was week 4 of a 9 week Women’s Leadership Coaching group that I am leading. Also this last week, the local mega-church held their annual Leadership Summit, complete with all the big names (even Bono for crying out loud – so big he only needs his first name!).

It got me to thinking about the difference between a “coaching” program for leaders and a typical leadership conference. As a leader, I find tons of value in both (and any other type of learning, training venue for leaders). My personal observation and experience is that while a coach approach may offer less “content”, it offers a focus on, well…. focus! A training/teaching venue can flood our mind and imagination with fantastic new and more current ideas and methodology (ever taken a drink of water from a fire hose?) – and all that exciting input puts new fuel in our tank to approach and embrace our leadership roles in more effective and influential ways. With a coach approach, the end goal is to narrow ideas, thoughts, and information in order to promote a few, or a single powerful action.

A coach approach venue is about focus.
A coach approach venue doesn’t deliver content, it delivers a question.
A coach approach venue results in new personal actions.

Another distinction between a leadership conference and a coach approach leadership event is. the former provides resources to the participant — and the latter discovers the resources that already exist within the participant.

What else do you see that a coach approach produces in participants? I’d love to hear even more ideas.