5 Questions with CEO of Empower Coaching, Jonathon Baker
I’m honored to have CEO of Empower Coaching, Jonathon Baker on the blog today! Jonathon, who is also a certified coach on the John Maxwell Leadership Team, is married to his college sweetheart Ashley and the father to three amazing boys. I hope you get just as much as I did from his insightful answers.
1. You've coached individuals and teams professionally for over 7 years now, is there a factor that you've noticed successful teams or individuals have that others don't? If so, what is it?
Some teams wait for their coach in order to get serious and start practicing or warming up. The teams I see become successful take ownership and initiative to start themselves. They take ownership of getting to know their teammates, working hard, setting the example, providing leadership and helping their teammates on and off the field of competition.
What would it be like if the players took charge and took ownership of each other in regards to motivating each other, holding each other accountable, and finding ways to improve to be the best they can be?
I’m not talking about taking over the coach's game plan or disregarding the coach in any way. It’s about serving the coach and taking ownership to advance the team while submitting to the coach’s leadership.
2. There are a lot of coaches out there. What should a person look for when selecting a professional coach to help themselves or their team?
I would recommend finding a coach who cares about you and focuses on your success.
A friend of mine, Bobby Behrens, came to visit me one day. He was a former assistant soccer coach for the Oral Roberts University men’s team. I was not sure his purpose for coming over but I was delighted that he came to visit. He had previously invited me to a meeting that discussed selling products to make money and I thought the conversation may be a follow-up to that.
As we talked, he turned to me and said, “You have a gift. I’m going to help you.” He then asked questions about what would be the next step to get my team-building and leadership coaching business off the ground. He assured me that he would help me be successful and he would pray for me. Bobby gave me the much needed confidence, belief, and support for me to continue pursuing my business, overcome the business of life and make it a reality.
Donald Miller’s Story Brand Framework teaches that the coach is not the hero in the story, the coach is the guide to help the hero (the individual or team) win in their story. Bobby made me feel like a hero that day. Choose a coach who does that.
3. What's one of the greatest lessons you've learned from an individual or team that you've coached?
When I first started coaching at the YMCA, I started with my son’s 3-4 year old basketball team. First of all, you have not lived until you coach 3-4 year olds in basketball.
When teaching them to shoot, I did not teach them to follow through on their shot. I just taught them to squat down and push the ball up to get to the hoop. Why did I teach this? Most of the children could barely get the ball high enough to the hoop, let alone make a basket. I figured we would start there. Wrong.
When coaching, teach the exact form. Even though they may not do it correctly physically, they will see it and practice it correctly mentally. It may take time to manifest but it will happen.
As a coach, I have to model what I expect. The children will live up to the expectations or beliefs I have of them. Big expectations and beliefs will yield big results. Little expectations and beliefs will yield little results. Believe big of people.
4. As a coach, how do you bounce back to coach others after a personal or professional disappointment?
“Everything in life is about perspective. Find the one that I can use to be joyful and appreciative about my life and circumstances rather than using them to be down and an excuse for miserable living.” This is what I wrote on December 29, 2018 after watching Mary Poppins Returns in the theater with my wife, Ashley, for our date night.
My wife, Ashley and I have three young boys ages five, four and one. We have been watching a lot of Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns lately. I can hear my boys singing words to the songs throughout the house. The whole movie is about perspective.
Perspective is something I have to continually work on. Worrying about the problem has been more natural than seeing with the eyes of faith and seeing the opportunity and solution in the problem.
I am in a season of training children, working full-time, seeking to get my business off the ground. All the while trying to be a good, intentional husband and father. I get tired and overwhelmed. There are times when I am disappointed in myself, not spending enough time with Ashley and my boys, not doing enough in my business, getting angry with my boys for their misbehavior, wondering if they will be godly men and the list goes on.
The right perspective says, “God’s got this.” The right perspective says, “You are making progress.” The right perspective says, “You have what it takes.” The right perspective says, “Your children are men after God’s own heart.”
5. Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” Myles Munroe
You are here on purpose.
You have a purpose.
You are destined for greatness.
You are a hero in God’s great story.
You can reach me at email@example.com.
A big thank you to Jonathon Baker for his amazing insight today!
Thanks for reading!