The Words of the Saver Family

Coach-ability is the #1 Criteria in Choosing a Potential Leader or Spouse

Paul Saver
November 5, 2012

About two years ago when my wife and I were searching for a match for our daughter Ann-Maree, I was faced with a question that I could not immediately answer. Ann-Maree asked me "Dad what do you think is *the* most important thing to look for in choosing a future spouse?"

About two weeks later I came back to her with my answer which was "coachability". In other words, I said" ask yourself, is this person X coachable?"

My definition of coachability is "the willingness to listen, learn, change and grow".

Unfortunately, not everyone is coachable, even amongst Blessed kids.

None of us expect our kids to be fully mature, wise and capable before they get Blessed. However if they are coachable there is hope and a way forward in their relationship since they are open to the advice and opinions of their second messiah i.e. their spouse and significant others.

If they are not coachable, it's like their relationship is padlocked so that when their spouse tells them what's wrong with them or their behavior, it's interpreted as criticism and a personal attack. Over time, this is a sure recipe for relationship stagnation and breakdown. Anybody outside the relationship that offers advice is viewed as 'nosey' and "should mind their own business".

Later I got thinking that "coach ability" is the number one quality that a leader can have. Unfortunately this is an uncommon quality, especially when a person is provided with a leadership position. It's as if, the person has an emotional need to be right rather than doing what is right.

My guess is that religious people more than any other group in society, are least likely to be coachable. For a religious leader, if something goes wrong, the last port of call is to question their theology or the decisions they make. After all they already have the truth. This usually results in blame being placed on their members or anyone except themselves.

Academics may spend decades of their life gathering evidence to prove their theories are correct. Religious leaders have a propensity to be the same. Of course there are exceptions.

On the other hand, my guess is that business entrepreneurs are the most coachable people of any group in society because money talks. Business entrepreneurs say "to hell with theories, just show me the money". In other words, they are quick to question their own decisions and therefore to change what they do. If they don't, they may lose their money and even go bankrupt.

Also it is common amongst business entrepreneurs to spend tens of thousands of dollars on getting coached even paying $5-$10,000 per hour. You would be hard pressed to find many religious leaders who seek to get coached, since they have already been appointed and anointed by God.

Now that elections for new leaders in the USA have taken place, I just wonder what were the main criteria in brothers and sisters heads when they casted their vote?

I would love to get some answers to this question as well as your thoughts about my theory that coachability is the number one criteria in deciding on who to choose as a spouse or a leader. Of course some people would say that there are multiple criteria to consider. However if you could only choose one criteria, what would it be? 

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