The Leadership Coaching Framework should be built Brick by Brick

Good News/Bad News for HR Executives
June 11, 2012

bricks-150x150The practice of a leadership coaching framework reminds me of a story I once read that goes a little like this… A man was walking along a city street and came upon a crew of bricklayers at work. He stopped and asked the first one, “What are you doing?” The bricklayer looked up, shrugged and answered, “I’m laying bricks.” The man continued along until he encountered another worker. He asked her, “What are you doing?” And the worker replied, “I’m putting up a wall.”

The man walked on until he met a third worker. He asked him the same question: “What are you doing?” And the worker replied, “I’m building a cathedral.”

As People Leaders we are responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining talent. The research supports that some of the top predictors of successful talent management is to focus our coaching efforts on the following 4 activities;

  1. Be the kind of leader employees will recommend to their friends and family
    Demonstrate commitment to self-improvement as a leader
    Do what you say you will do – stick to your commitments


  1. Take the necessary steps to secure the organization’s future
    Rally the troops around common objectives
    Coach your teams to achieve or exceed their targets
    Inspire your team to a higher purpose


  1. Create the environment for learning and growth
    Motivate the troops to achieve difficult goals
    Make good use of your team’s skills
    Treat your team as valued members
    Help your team grow
    Don’t tolerate poor performance from team mates


  1. Serve your customers well
    Provide quality service and products
    Focus on listening to the customer’s voice
    Collaborate well with your internal customers, cross-functionally


Taken one step at a time, the predictors of success are small and simple acts – just like laying bricks, one on top of another. But when these small and simple actions are combined, you can build teams that are highly committed and high performing, just as surely as you build a cathedral – brick by brick. The important thing to remember is the wisdom of the third bricklayer, whose work was meaningful to him because he worked with the consciousness of the greater purpose behind his task. He worked with the responsibility to;

  1. Grow personally
  2. Achieve business outcomes
  3. Coach a strong team
  4. Serve customers and stakeholders


At times these coaching bricks can become overwhelming and a heavy task to execute. If so, take a moment to remember when you are present and when you refocus your coaching efforts, you are privileged to build a legacy, something meaningful, … something bigger than the individual tasks.

Remember the third bricklayer.


Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.