Even families need coaches


We were on track to co-write a book – my daughter-boss, Rachel and myself. But the plan has been put on hold because of the pandemic. She wrote an article which I want to share with you.

In the eyes of a dad, the kids will always be kids but through her writing, I just realized how mature she has become and her sentiments and thoughts brought me encouragement in a way I can never get anywhere else. Here is her piece (with her permission).

The first time my dad and I spoke (in a forum together) was through a Women Empowerment Forum a few years ago, and we were given the topic of “Coaching.” In brief silence, we struggled as we focused more on mentoring than coaching at the time. We had been working together for four years then when we realized that we’d never taken the time to sit down and assess our situation.

The journey of discovering the purpose of “coaching” was commonplace. It started with the skillful use of a good search engine. This is the result:

A “Coach” is:

1. A horse-drawn carriage, especially a closed one.

2. A railroad car.

3. A bus, especially one that’s comfortably equipped and used for longer journeys.

4. An athletic instructor or trainer.

Thinking about this and my parents’ influence on me, I’ve discovered some connections:

1. A railroad/carriage requires a path paved by experienced engineers and design experts. In our relationship, coaching involves intentionally laying out some essential ‘bricks’ in our roadmap for life:

A. Complex problem-solving, critical thinking and emotional intelligence

As parents, they do things intentionally and strategically, which means developing skills we can use no matter where life leads us. It’s emphasizing “soft” personal skills as the basis of our “hard” technical ones. The primary skill they started with is the focus on Godly values as the basis of our thinking, feeling, and behavior, the compass for our attitude and the way we see the world.

B. Values and ethics

a. “Protect our assets; our main asset is our name.”

And our asset is anchored on our relationship with God. It’s something we were taught, not just through words but also how they lived their lives and their actions. The best example I can give is how my dad starts his day: Every morning is spent silently on his knees in prayer. Like a war hero, his knees are marred by years of quiet and humble worship in front of the Savior. This is why he rarely wears shorts in public. There is no fanfare, spotlight, or cameras in his moments of silence; the only glory present is the Lord’s. It’s a time dedicated to the one who holds his heart dearly and has influenced us to become who we are today.

b. “Money is the acid test of character.”

A mantra that speaks for itself. It’s the intention of living an honest life, no matter the circumstance. And their training didn’t just end with words; we saw it in their actions.

c. Athletic instructors guide and prepare their athletes for a safe environment to “fight in the ring.”

As Joe Frazier said: “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there…You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go as planned, and you’re down to the reflexes you developed in training. That’s where roadwork shows – the training you did in the dark of the mornin’ will show when you’re under the bright lights.”

Some say good advice doesn’t come easy in this world, but looking at my experience, this doesn’t apply. With a business consultant/ inspirational speaker as a father, one thing you’re sure to have instant access to is advice. As kids, we have the unfair advantage of getting access to an advisor/ philosopher/ mentor, even if we don’t want to. What’s difficult isn’t getting good advice but getting us to listen. For someone with unlimited access to wise guidance, advice turns to nagging. As a wise person once said, teachers appear only when the student is ready.

Appreciation comes with maturity, and it takes a while for us to get there (if we ever do). I often joke with people that my dad started speaking all over so he could find people who would actually listen to him. His bonus is that he gets to do it for a living. It took us a while, and much growing up, to realize the truth of what he said.

We (mostly) listen now.

In fact, the tables have turned, and work for our literal in-house advisor has extended to active questioning. And as we were trained to have an entrepreneurial mindset, we milk this advantage as much as we can anytime, anywhere.

Parents can only reap what they have sown, after all.

There. That’s the end of the article.

If my daughter still depended on an allowance, her article would have convinced me to raise it. Her adept management of my affairs suggests she possesses the qualities of a future entrepreneur. I might even find myself seeking an allowance from her one day.



(Francis Kong’s podcast “Inspiring Excellence” is now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, or other podcaststreaming platforms).

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