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The Coaching Compass: A Path to Transformative Leadership

Updated: Apr 12

As leaders in sports, we hold power to shape the lives of countless individuals who count on us for protection, support, care, and guidance. Our duty of care and fiduciary duty for those within our charge requires us to prioritize the well-being and growth of our athletes, employees, and team members. Therefore in order to create a culture of care and support, we must first look within ourselves and work on the qualities we need to embody as leaders.

Safety, trust, respect, integrity, humility, support, and care are all essential qualities for effective leadership, and leaders must work to cultivate them within themselves, their teams and their organizations.

Safety means that the environment is free of harm, where individuals feel secure and protected. Trust is built through consistency, honesty, and accountability, enabling individuals to rely on their leaders and team members. Respect is recognizing and valuing the worth, dignity, and contribution of another human being. It involves treating people with courtesy, fairness, and consideration. Integrity means adhering to our ethical values and principles, even in difficult situations. Humility is shown through a humble heart and willingness to admit mistakes, seek feedback, and continuously learn and improve. Support is providing resources and opportunities for health, well-being and growth. Care is demonstrated by showing concern for the well-being of team members and actively seeking to address their needs.

Recent scandals involving abuse, harassment, and discrimination have highlighted the failure of leaders in positions of influence to embody the qualities necessary to fulfill their duty of care and fiduciary responsibility to their people. What qualities within us can erode our ability to show respect and integrity, especially when protecting, caring for, and supporting others? Common barriers to effective leadership include fear, arrogance, anger, seeking personal gain through power and status, entitlement, taking advantage influence through their role, insecurity, and selfishness.

For instance, leaders who fear failure or loss of power may prioritize their own success, position, and status over the health and well-being of their team members. Anger can also quickly arise in leaders, and depending on their choices of what to do with it, may cause them to take out their frustrations on others. Arrogance and a lack of humility can prevent leaders from admitting mistakes, seeking feedback, making appropriate decisions or offering support to those around them. Additionally, a lack of self-awareness can cause leaders to fail to recognize their biases and limitations, leading to discrimination and unequal treatment of team members.

Leaders must look at themselves and actively work to develop good leadership qualities. As my teacher says, “You cannot change what you cannot see," thus, as leaders, we need to begin by observing ourselves and then reflect on the qualities that we see, where they come from and how they impact the people within our lives. From this place, we can strive to develop ourselves for the betterment of our team and organization. This process of self-reflection and growth is ongoing and requires a willingness to be vulnerable and open to change. Doing so can create a culture of safety, protection, respect, integrity, trust, humility, support, and care, positively impacting our teams and organizations.

The Coaching Compass provides a path to transformative leadership by focusing on inner development. By integrating inner and moral development, leaders can improve their communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and conflict-management skills. With the Coaching Compass as a guide, we can navigate the path to transformative sports leadership, leading to increased self-awareness, clarity, and direction.

If you're interested in learning more about how the principles of The Coaching Compass can benefit your leadership or the leaders within your organization, please reach out to us.

With sincere respect,


Founder of Andrea Neil Coaching and

The Coaching Compass

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