The Greatest Superhero Coach of All Time - It Takes a Village

By Chris Cosper

dateThu, Nov 13, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

I’ve been a business growth coach for almost a decade, and before that, I was a CEO who had a coach. At Rhythm Systems, I’m the head of coaching, so I also have the privilege of working alongside some of the most excellent coaches I’ve ever met. I understand coaching. I get the difference between a consultant and a coach. I appreciate the power of listening, questioning, encouraging and challenging. I believe that a good coach can have a tremendously positive impact on the performance of an individual, a team and an entire organization.

At Rhythm Systems, we’ve developed a model for coaching our clients called “Village Coaching.” Each comics-495258_1280client is assigned one primary coach that works with you consistently over time to make sure you’re establishing the proper habits, maintaining momentum and practicing a proper Think, Plan, Do rhythms. They act almost like your primary physicianEach of these primary physicians is a Rhythm Expert - they are all masters at understanding and implementing every aspect of our Think-Plan-Do methodology.

We spend a lot of time recruiting and selecting the very best talent. We use Topgrading (just like we recommend you do), so we are completely confident that we’ve hired the best of the best. Each coach goes through an intensive on-boarding and training process and is expected to live our core value of “Keep Smart.” Patrick Thean often jokes (but is completely serious) that “no one wants a dumb coach,” so we continue to invest a lot of our time and resources in ourselves. We spend a lot of time collaborating with each other and honing our craft, and we spend a lot of time with Patrick, sharing stories, learning and improving how we do what we do. We know that every investment we make in our coaches is really an investment in our clients’ long-term success. So no matter who your primary coach is, you can rest assured that you are in very good hands.

Every coach brings with them a unique background and specific areas of expertise that they share with the team. Some coaches have industry expertise like technology or manufacturing. Some excel in process design and operational excellence. Some have extensive team building, professional development and executive coaching skills. We have coaches who have been CEOs, coaches who are former clients, and coaches who are bilingual. We have some coaches who work with you and your team virtually on an ongoing basis, some coaches who travel to your location and facilitate your planning sessions for you, and some coaches who do both. If you could roll all of this into one coach, it would be the greatest superhero coach of all time. 

That’s the power of village coaching! You have one primary coach who works with you and your team in a regular rhythm, who understands the basics of your business, the structure of your company and the dynamics of your team… your primary physician. But you also have the power of this village of experts behind you. This is like your personal brain trust, and these are the specialists we call in.


Here are some of the ways we bring village coaching to life for our clients:

  • Weekly consultations – Each week we create an opportunity for coaches to bring any unique circumstances before the village for advice and recommendations.
  • Special one-on-one coaching calls – We often set up special coaching calls for clients with a different coach related to a certain area of expertise.
  • Transition to a new coach – We find that there’s a lot of value in gaining a new perspective after a period of time, so we look for opportunities to proactively transition clients between coaches after year or two.
  • Different coaches for on-site facilitation and on-going Rhythm coaching – Most of our Rhythm clients also bring in a coach to facilitate their planning sessions. We have some clients who prefer their Rhythm coach facilitate the onsite session, and we have others that enjoy the opportunity to interact with a different coach. We have found value in both options, and we have coaches in the village that can do both.
  • Help is always available - Village coaching allows us to always be “on.” Just because your coach takes a vacation doesn’t mean your company takes a vacation. You can have full confidence that if you need something, there will be a coach available to help you - someone who already knows who you are and is completely prepared to go the second mile for you.

We know that every client is different and we never take a cookie cutter approach. We work from a basic foundation that is sturdy, proven and sure (our Rhythm software and methodology); then, we pay attention to our clients’ needs and deploy the talents and expertise of the village to help them. And as great as this is for our clients, there’s also a big reward for us. Our whole team gets to celebrate every success and every breakthrough each client makes on their journey to success.

I’m sharing this with you because I’m excited about what we’re doing. But I’m also sharing it so you can think about your own village. Are your customers getting the full value of all of the expertise on your team? No matter what business you’re in, you have a village. Think about how you can intentionally focus your village to benefit your customers.


Executive Summary from Patrick Thean's book Rhythm

Chris Cosper


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images