“One of the primary responsibilities I think of a leader is to make things better, to improve people collectively and individually.”
The value of coaching is something that is not given enough credence and should be a fundamental discipline for leaders with the intention and responsibility to help people improve. As far as Mark Bragg is concerned that is, quite simply, the deal!
Mark is a Performance and Leadership Coach with over 40 years’ experience spanning across sport and business. Mark reached the highest level of coaching during his professional basketball career in Australia and he now sits in the highest executive boardrooms across the world.
In the sporting arena the scrutiny is very high. The media and personal opinions from fans are in-your-face and then there is the video tape, which shows every single play and every single decision that you make as a Coach. Learning to live with failures and successes, as well as that level of debriefing, were the fundamentals Mark used to begin talking to businesses.
It took 5-10 years for Mark to feel comfortable and understand the business world as, during his transition he found that although the principles are relatively the same, the environment is not. Some examples of those clear differences are that sport has an off-season, whereas business is a marathon. With sport the outcome is crystal clear; you either win or you lose and, whichever way you cut it, the Coach is held responsible. Mark was 19 years old when he began coaching, and it ultimately took him to coaching in Australia’s National Basketball League. It was during a “season from hell”, where his job was on the line, that he learnt his biggest leadership lesson which was delivered in a blunt one liner – “Braggy, it’s about you, mate.”
Now in the business world Mark’s focus is firmly on the key to unlocking potential. He is an Executive Coach in multiple disciplines and industries in 23 countries, is also working with emerging Australian entrepreneurs in cities such as San Francisco, Hong Kong, Dublin and Sydney as well as co-founding X-Gap and working extensively with his business partner Martin West. The pair have also co-authored a book called Hard Road: A Leader’s Journey Begins. His programs are specifically designed for each client and have three fundamental principles:
- It’s about you
- Live coaching
- Connected to results
The ‘buzz’ for Mark comes from helping someone improve. It is a thrill for him to see a leader align with the team and become cohesive by themselves, effectively doing him, as the Coach, out of a job.
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Coaching comes in many shapes and forms and can be any interaction with a person whose performance, career, personal challenges, strengths and weaknesses you are trying to improve. Asking really good questions is at the heart of coaching and, in this week’s episode, Mark shares examples of some of these used in his coaching model.
We are honoured to have some highly esteemed guests here on The Culture of Leadership (TCoT) Podcast and Mark is no exception. Take advantage of the opportunity to hear from this much sought-after Performance and Leadership Coach and check-in with the key points he lists when evaluating leaders, as well as the necessary elements required for establishing a positive mindset when it comes to leadership and coaching.