Coaching Rule #1 – Don’t be a victim

COACHING RULE #1: DON’T BE A VICTIM – as put forward by Doc Rivers, coach of the Philadelphia

Everyone that’s been in the workforce for a while will have a hard luck story. They didn’t get the promotion they deserved, their hard work wasn’t getting recognised, they got made redundant despite strong sales numbers, etc. This comes with the territory. The trick is to not let these stories define who you are, or how you are perceived by others.

One way to deal with setbacks is to adopt a growth mindset. In simple terms, a growth mindset is where a person says “I haven’t mastered that skill – yet”. Compare this with a fixed mindset, where one might say “I haven’t mastered that skill – and I don’t need to”. If you had 2 people in front of you applying for the same role, and those varied mindsets were on display, all things being equal, whom would you hire?

A growth mindset keeps people open to opportunities; they are aware they will never know everything there is to know, and that is perfectly okay; and when something new is tried, if it doesn’t work at first, they persist and practice until it feels right. Often they will be attempting to master several skills or new ways of working at once. Complexity becomes a familiarity.

Remember, when you’re seeking out a career coach, you’re not broken – you’re just trying to improve particular skills. During a coaching engagement, you will be challenged. There are moments you will feel particularly uncomfortable, and you might feel like walking away. Trust me, I’ve been there. Adopting a victim mentality, that I’m here because it’s someone else’s fault, might make you feel better for an instant. But it won’t get you to where you ultimately aspire to be – a person comfortable with discomfort, adopting different strategies to tackle existing problems. Personal growth starts with a growth mindset.

Next week I will examine a rule put forward by Jill Ellis, former coach of the US women’s soccer team, linking risk to opportunity.


Cadence Leadership Advisory is a leadership development business specialising in coaching people, team leadership and development, strategy review and organisational culture.

Its Founder, Lewis Williams, has over 25 years of leadership experience gained through senior roles at NAB, HSBC and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. A Graduate of AGSM@UNSW, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and an Approved Advisor with Advisory Board Centre, he instigated and drove development of the 2021 paper “Organisational Culture: Beyond the Intangible” with other alumni of the AICD. He is also an accredited CultureTalk practitioner, a training and development platform that activates the framework of personality archetypes for the growth of leaders, teams, brands and cultures.

FOUNDER: Lewis Williams


MOBILE: 61 (0) 477 371 665

LINKEDIN: cadenceleadershipadvisory/

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