This is the 19th entry in a series on Coaching Distinctions.  I’m inviting you into some of the strategies and perspectives I employ as I champion my clients to achieve extraordinary results—not just while we’re working together, but for the rest of their lives.

As a coach, I’m not in the help-you-solve-your-problems business.  Nope.

I’m in the people-development business.

I’m here to support you to transform your capacity to address problems, opportunities, and challenges in increasingly effective and satisfying ways.  Our coaching relationship may last a few months or a few years. My commitment is to be with you in such a way that, decades later, you’re a fundamentally different person, inside your own skin.

That’s the people-development game.

I’m in this game for exactly one reason: it’s what I think Jesus was doing.

Consider Peter, the impulsive, mercurial, hot-headed, flip-flopping, ESFP.

Pete and a few others are out in a boat, caught in a frightening squall. Terrified already, they think they see a “ghost” not far away. What’s crazy, it is walking on the water. Eventually, they recognize that it’s Jesus out there on the angry sea.

With characteristically little forethought, Peter blurts out something akin to: “Hey, Jesus, lemme do that!!”

In an instant, he’s over the rail, taking one step and then another on top of the… wa… wat… water? Soon as it registers in Pete’s brain that he can’t be doing what he is doing…his focus shifts from Jesus to the furious sea and he’s down for the count.

Except, he’s not.

Jesus takes hold of Pete’s hand and he’s safely back in the boat—just in time for a tongue-lashing from the Savior: “Why, Peter, did you doubt?”

See, I don’t think Jesus cared whether Pete got five steps or five miles out on the water. Jesus was supporting the transformation of Peter’s capacity to stand and trust God in the midst of impossible odds, for the rest of his lifetime. 

Think about it.

If that had been you, in the years that followed, how many times would you go back over the events of those few moments in your mind? “Let’s see, he said ‘Come’, so I put one foot over the side, slid my butt across the deck and then I stood up on the water. Right away I started walking… my feet were wet, but that was it. Let’s see, I took, um, maybe four or five steps before I started to freak out. Yeah, five steps. Maybe a couple more! How ‘bout that? It wasn’t impossible.”

This morning, my daily bible reading was Acts 1.  Do you notice who stood up amid the 120 and, recalling David’s words, led the other apostles to fill Judas’ spot?  The same guy who, a chapter later, boldly addressed an enormous crowd while it was accusing them of being reprobate drunks.

Where’d he get the confidence to stand like that?  Off the bag at first, out on the water

Coaching Distinctions #19