The Disciple Trait : John Mattone Global, Inc.

Business Coaching


Disciples tend to appreciate guidance. When they derail, they grow addicted to it. Leadership coaching can help immature disciples acquire skills they need to overcome weaknesses and grow into leaders that peers and reports appreciate equally. The disciple trait allows leaders to handle trust and loyalty optimally.

Disciple leaders value loyalty and understand its place in intelligent leadership. Although disciples need guidance from an entity or force that they perceive as superior, they know showing the same loyalty to reports and superiors is a healthy leadership approach. Due to how they handle loyalty and trust, Disciples find it easy to create cohesive and effective teams while inspiring reports to work hard and be loyal to the organization.

Loyalty is the foundation of trust. 

Leadership maturity defines how the disciple trait impacts one’s ability to lead. Leadership coaching can correct derailing tendencies, setting disciple leaders up to succeed. Mature disciples understand how to keep their derailing tendencies in check. They also know how to turn a disciple trait into an asset rather than a liability.

How Do You Know if You’re a Disciple? 

If you can put together cohesive teams that have no trouble working toward common goals, you may be a mature disciple. You may also notice that:

  • You are hardworking, disciplined, goal-oriented, and organized.
  • Others see you as trustworthy and get along well with you.
  • You’re loyal, and others know they can rely on you.
  • You have no problems making independent decisions, though you appreciate guidance.
  • You find it easy to create meaningful and lasting relationships.
  • You work well in teams.

How Do Disciples Slip Up? 

When leaders fail to cultivate leadership skills, they risk derailing. Derailing is a consequence of leadership immaturity and a know-it-all attitude. Mature disciples must reconcile the two personalities that guide the actions and thoughts of most leaders who possess this trait. On one hand, disciples appreciate guidance. On the other, derailing disciples feel the guiding authority suppresses them, and they rebel against it.

When disciples derail, they:

  • Begin to eschew responsibility and decisions
  • Resort to consultation more until they become incapable of making independent decisions
  • Constantly look for reassurance when faced with difficult situations
  • Find ambiguous future outcomes stressful
  • Become overly reliant on guidance, even if the instructions they receive make little sense

The Dark Side of the Disciple Trait

Leadership coaching looks to prevent leaders from derailing. In the case of disciple leaders, executive coaching can help you avoid pitfalls like:

  • Becoming stubborn, skeptical about people, and reacting negatively to criticism
  • Becoming entirely reliant and dependent on higher authorities for decision-making
  • Being unable to escape a ubiquitous sense of inferiority
  • Becoming prone to procrastinate or complain about peers and reports who don’t perform as expected
  • Growing suspicious and fearful others might take advantage of you

How Leadership Coaching Can Help

In my business coaching books, I’ve always touted leadership maturity as the solution to many behavioral and skill-related problems leaders face. To prevent disciples from derailing, leadership coaching will drive them toward greater maturity by helping them acquire traits of a mature arbitrator. These traits help leaders reduce their dependence on others and become more open and empathic.

Leadership coaching can keep you on the right track. 

By acquiring mature leadership traits, disciples can support others instead of needing support. Gravitating towards the skillset of a mature arbitrator makes sense for disciples for other reasons as well. When mastering these skills, disciples become supportive, kind-hearted, and trustworthy leaders in the eyes of employees, opening up new opportunities and avenues for improvement and success for themselves and their organizations.

The basic motivation of the disciple is to feel their position is secure. Disciples’ greatest fear is they may end up discarded if they fail to fall in line.

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