Print this article

The Home Care Leader’s Role as Coach

By Stephen Tweed 

The other day I was having a conversation with my wife and business partner, Elizabeth Jeffries, RN, CSP, CPAE, about some follow up she is doing with a client.  Elizabeth coaches Physician Leaders in Academic Schools of Medicine.  Six months ago Elizabeth had asked me to work with her to lead an Executive Strategy Retreat for the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine at a major university in the south.  We led the team through the process of crafting a huge vision, defining their core values and their culture, and developing a one-year action plan.  Elizabeth is going back to do a six-month follow up session with the Department Chair and her 15 Section Chiefs.

This discussion with Elizabeth caused me to go back and think about the work we are doing with our Home Care CEO Mastermind Groups, and our Strategic Business Coaching Clients.  Many of them have worked on crafting a huge vision. They have defined their core values and the behaviors that go with those values.  They have one-year action plans.  So what about developing their leaders and coaching their team members?

Creating a Caregiver First Culture

One of the significant trends we are seeing among our Mastermind Members is shifting their company culture from a “Client First Culture” to a “Caregiver First Culture.”  This means shifting your focus from doing what’s best for your clients, to doing what’s best for your caregivers.  That’s a major mindset shift which will be very difficult for many business owners.

The process means making major changes in how your company does business. It means helping your office team members develop new knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors.  We believe that the home care companies that can make this significant shift will be out in front of their local marketplace in their ability to attract and retain the very best caregivers.  And the company that gets the caregivers will get the clients.

I’ve heard it a hundred times this year from company owners:  “If I could just get the caregivers, I could double my business.”

Coaching Team Members in a Caregiver First Culture

As the coach of your home care team, your role is to set the vision, develop the playbook, teach the fundamentals, and then polish the performance of your leadership team with individual coaching.  Coaching is the fastest and most powerful way to develop leaders at all levels.  Here are some insights from some great leaders:

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”  Harvey Firestone, Founder, Firestone Tire & Rubber Company

“No person can lead others except by showing them a desirable future.  A leader is a merchant of Hope.”  Napoleon Bonaparte

“The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members better.”  Tony Dungee, Super Bowl Winning Coach, Indianapolis Colts

“Great coaching comes from the heart, not the head.”  Herb Kelleher, Former CEO, Southwest Airlines

“Seek opportunities to show you care.  The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”  John Wooden, Former Head Basketball Coach, UCLA

“Coaching happens not in your speaking, but in your listening.” Elizabeth Jeffries, Author, What Exceptional Executives Need to Know.

It is pretty clear from these examples that if you want to be the winningest home care company in your market, you need to be the winningest coach of your leadership team.

Five Core Coaching Skills for Producing Extraordinary Results 

In her book, What Exceptional Executives Need to Know, Elizabeth gives you the five core skills you need to develop to get extraordinary results from your team and your home care company:

  1. Asking Questions
  2. Listening In
  3. Giving Feedback
  4. Asking for New Outcomes
  5. Holding People Accountable

We’ll be bringing  your more insights on executive coaching and leadership development in the coming months.  It is becoming more clear that the winning companies in home care will be those that develop their leaders.  In the meantime, you can download a copy of Elizabeth’s book at


Print this article