"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."


                              -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You show us a leader that is







and helpful,

and we’ll show you a leader

that might be…


…an obstacle?


It’s true! The things that help someone to become a leader—confident decisions; bold creativity; compelling vision; untiring perseverance; rapid learning—can be the very things that prevent that leader’s people from reaching their full potential.  What’s more, the untapped potential of a team is often hidden by the success of that very team.


Clouding the mirror. Ever seen kids play their first tee-ball game?  There are usually a few helpful parents allowed on the field as “escorts,” because you never know when a batter will run to the pitcher’s mound instead of to first base!   Kids at that age are comically unaware of what they do.  But add ten years to those same kids, and their games look a lot different…their athletic performance has vastly improved because they have become aware of their behavior in the moment and can make immediate adjustments in the game.


Now add ten (or twenty or thirty) more years.  Those “kids” are in the business world, and it’s a whole new game.  They may know their leader’s vision & strategic plan by heart, but if they don’t receive relevant, real-time feedback, they won’t become self-aware…they won’t make the immediate, in-the-moment adjustments they need to win the big game.  And periodic performance appraisals won’t cut it…the leader is the only person close enough to the action to be the mirror the players need to grow.


What’s a leader to do?  Remember those tee-ball players?  They got better over the years (and they probably had more fun) because their coaches were involved, progressively “working themselves out of a job” by transferring their own skills, confidence, and in-the-moment awareness to each player.


Leaders need to do the same thing:  Sure, they are great players…but if they don’t now become great coaches—if they don’t master the skills of cultivating self-awareness and self-sufficiency in their players—they will be walking away from greatness that could have been.  Higher performing teams.  Higher morale and motivation.  Players that could have ascended to leadership.  Maybe even terminations that didn’t have to happen.


It’s not rocket science.  It doesn’t take a doctorate degree or a foreign language.  In fact, if you’re smart enough to spell “COACH”—and diligent enough to practice some proven skills—we’ll guarantee your success:


The C.O.A.C.H. Workshop


C.O.A.C.H. teaches leaders the process of increasing self-awareness, self-correction, and self-sufficiency in their people, so that they can develop themselves and improve their performance.  Leaders who actively coach their direct reports multiply their effectiveness and cultivate their own replacements by fostering personal ownership of business results, self-directed critical thinking and problem solving, and a culture of continuous personal growth.


The C.O.A.C.H. Framework


C = Collaborative Relationship:  How to establish trust and understanding to increase your influence with your players (you can’t coach without it!).


O = On-Target:  How to discover what motivates your players; to identify meaningful development goals; and to inspire continued growth.


A = Ask, Don’t Answer: How to help your players discover their own answers so that they become self-sufficient.


C = Coachable Moments:  How to increase your players’ self-awareness and ability to adapt and self-correct during (not after) the game.


H = Healthy Environment:  How to foster a culture of continuous personal growth. Water the Playing Field


Program Methodology


Knowledge is necessary but insufficient: Skill mastery is achieved through “see one, do one, teach one” role plays.


It’s not enough that the audience “gets it”—they also have to give it: Program content is organized so that participants can remember it and pass it on.


Home field advantage:  Role plays and examples use real-life situations from the participants, so that they can easily transition from the learning environment to the real world.


Culture change through mutual accountability:  Participants make commitments, then return one month later to follow up, share successes, and master the art of getting past coaching “stuck points.”


Program Overview


Coaching Skills Profile: Assessment by self and others of critical coaching behaviors; administered prior to program and 6 months following program.  Helps leaders to identify their personal learning goals for the program.



Session A:  Two days.  Introduce, demonstrate, and rehearse the C.O.A.C.H.™ model and relevant C.O.A.C.H.™ tools; make specific commitments for implementation over the next 30 days.






Session B:  Half day, approximately four weeks after Session A.  Debrief successes and obstacles; review/rehearse C.O.A.C.H.™ tools; make specific commitments for implementation; analyze how the organization’s culture helps or hinders coaching, and establish relevant plans of action to improve it; make specific commitments for keeping the fire alive post workshop.


Who should attend C.O.A.C.H.?


People leaders of all levels. We’ve had C-Level executives in Fortune 500 companies, all the way down the org chart to first-time leaders in C.O.A.C.H. Why?  Because the fundamentals of helping people grow don’t change as the players advance (which is why you see major league players taking batting practice just like they did in little league!).


HR Business Partners (HRBPs). These people might not have direct reports, but they are often in the position of coaching the coaches.  For this reason, we recommend that HRBPs to master the C.O.A.C.H. concepts and skills, to ensure that other leaders use what they learn.


Emerging Leaders.  Many of our clients send emerging leaders to C.O.A.C.H. prior to their promotion, so that they begin to make the transition from player to coach, and so that they hit the ground running when they take on their first team.


Dotted-Liners and Mentors.  Other people in the organization might not fit the categories above, but they have partial oversight over other team members, or they play some role in developing other people.


What mix of people should attend C.O.A.C.H. together?


Intact Teams? Attending C.O.A.C.H. together can be a great way for a team to rapidly shift their culture, provided that the team does not have any significant pre-existing tensions, and that people do not overly defer to the boss.  Additionally, for some teams it is not feasible for everyone to be away from work at the same time.


Different Departments? No problem here; in fact, we’ve had people from different companies attend C.O.A.C.H. together.  Participants tend to find the diversity refreshing.  Some clients require visiting attendees to sign nondisclosure agreements.


Different Levels? We’ve had groups that mixed C-Level executives with manger-level leaders.  This approach can be a powerful lead-by-example experience, provided that the senior execs can put themselves in a “learner” role, not dominate the conversation, and that the lower-level leaders do not overly defer to the higher-level executives.


Who leads the C.O.A.C.H. workshop?


Because it is highly interactive and situationally applied, C.O.A.C.H. has always been led by the guys that created it, and who actually coach leaders on a regular basis:



Dr. Kelley Freeman & Dr. Rick Jernigan are the co-founders of The Align Group, an organizational psychology firm devoted to helping people, teams, and organizations make a lasting positive difference in their world.


Their careers have paralleled each other for many years:  both are graduates of Baylor University, both obtained their doctorate degrees in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and both served in the United States Air Force prior to entering the private sector.  Their work has taken them into Fortune 100 companies, international organizations, fast-growing privately held firms, and vibrant community organizations that cover a breadth of industries and levels of leadership.  They coach business executives (from C-Level executives to front-line managers), facilitate organizational strategy, and create innovative programs that accelerate growth and development.


Kelley and Rick are passionate about teaching ordinary leaders how to develop extraordinary people.  As co-authors of the book C.O.A.C.H. and the C.O.A.C.H.™ workshop, they have personally coached over 10,000 business leaders in how to develop the talent of their people and to create self-motivated, self-directed individuals and teams.




Kelley Freeman, Ph.D.                              Rick Jernigan, Ph.D.

210.885.1723                                             214.563.9136

kfreeman@thealigngroup.com                  rickj@thealigngroup.com