I had read about "personal coaches," consultants who work one-on-one with executives, pastors, and other leaders to increase their effectiveness. But I had never considered trying one. I think the name scared me off. "Personal coach" smacked of "personal trainer," a status symbol for wealthy Hollywood stars.

But about 8 months ago, my work was moving me into a new role, and I felt uncertain about my ability to adjust. The department had grown (from 2 people to 7 people in the past 3 years), and I was shifting from "leading doers" to "leading leaders." What should I do to effectively lead them? What had to change in my daily work patterns?

So driven by a desire not to goof up, I asked a personal coach to help me. Thus began one of the most productive learning experiences I've had. I count my coaching time more valuable than almost any conference I've attended. Surprise.

Let me tell you what happened, in case you want to work with a mentor or coach to increase your own abilities as a Christian ...

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