Lots of people in the college coaching world are talking about generational differences and how to “relate to Gen Z” players (and staff). We are telling coaches and leaders that they need to open up and be more vulnerable to those they lead. What does that mean?
I think we’re getting “opening up” wrong.
Teams need trust for sure, but this does not need to be personal–on either side. Coach, you can show “who you are” simply by sharing honestly what you believe in.
When you talk about what you believe in and why, when you clearly share the things that are foundational to you, you’re automatically being “authentic”. When you know, you know and when you share “who you are”, that’s who you are. That’s personal without being personal. It’s unlikely that everything you do is going to work well, every time, but everything you are, the be behind the do, is real and that matters for trust.
Some coaches seem to think that sharing values and asking questions, aside from the rhetorical, is a sign of weakness that could damage their coaching authority. This is a challenge, yet by not sharing we risk lack of understanding as well as lack of commitment.
Commitment to what? This is an important question.
There is no middle ground. Either you state your beliefs and talk–even to yourself–about why they are important or you keep operating in a veiled manner that keeps people guessing. Kids with options want to know you.
This one is a fan favorite.
Something so often said, “you just need to work a little harder” and you’ll get what you want or reach your goals.
Likely you said this to yourself before.
It sounds so simple, like a done deal.
Work is often a part of the solution, but working harder we know is not always the answer.
How can you ask yourself some questions that might allow you to see things from a different angle? How can you take your foot off the gas and maybe make things flow more smoothly?
When you’re the little kid holding hands and jumping into the pool, you fully trust the other guy, you’re honest with your word. You jump.
But after that one time when the other guy doesn’t jump with you…when you feel laughed at, do you become the guy who doesn’t jump?
“I’ll trust them as soon as they prove their worth it”.
Will that work? How else to do that except to jump when you said you would? ‘Cause when you don’t jump, you’re the liar and the one not to be trusted.
What’s the downside to being in the pool on a hot day anyway? So what if you’re alone because your the only guy who jumps.
Coach, create a culture where everyone agrees that honesty and being true to their word is the thing–that jumping is only the mechanism.
Leadership done best is an ability to present a picture of a future that’s successful, exciting and compelling. When people not only trust a leader as a person but are inspired by their vision, things are more fun and the process moves along.
When “the future” seems so precarious this becomes even more challenging.
Many “leaders” can’t find their way to paint a picture of a future that’s compelling, or are even able to consider what might happen. This is when the real leaders become fewer in number and even more important.
Finding our way toward leading ourselves in this way is, as always, a great first step.
When you know what your now looks like and why, it’s way easier to know what to do.
So, this is different…
We are being called upon to take personal responsibility personally. To actually put others first, not just talk about being a good team player and doing your best.
Not trying. Doing. Being the one who says, “this might not be exactly right, but i’m taking a chance,” or “follow me, although I might have it wrong, I’m doing it based upon important things I believe in.”
So, it’s not that different. These are things you preach all the time, Coach. This time, however, we’re really banking on you.
You’re busy. You’ve got a lot going on. You might have time next week…
Are the things on your to-do list weighing you down or are the providing an anchor that helps you to get things done?
Finding systems to do “the things” the way you’d like them to be done, in a repeatable fashion, is probably a good thing, and for sure examination of the system itself is important.
Start by making note of what you’d like the future to look like and go from there.
I love the simplicity of Dr. Phil’s primary question,
“how’s that working out for you?”.
Really, how’s are your decisions impacting your life?
We make lots of decisions, chose to go right or left, stay home or go out, send the runner or play it safe…yet we often think that the things that happen to us are random.
It’s not a knock on you to ask how it’s going, it’s simply an honest ask. What’s your current situation and how do you feel?
How are things going for you? What’s “working out” in your favor, and what seems to be holding you back.
Ask. Ask again. Be honest.
You might as well be on the change train since you know it’s going to happen.
Look for the bumps as well as the forks in the road, prepare to zig even when you expect to zag.
Nothing stays the same regarding systems, processes or outcomes.
You can make intentional changes, or the unexpected might happen.
Prepare all of “you”, your levels of resilience as well as the level of detail of your planning. Being ready doesn’t just mean having an emergency plan, it means having the peace of mind that you can face any option.
What’s possible? If you got your act together, what could it look like?
You have enough time, energy, excitement and people on your side… what could you get done.
What’s really in the way?
Try what you tell your kids…act as if…
Act like you have nothing to lose (really, what do you have to lose?), even nothing to gain aside from whatever it is that’s around the corner on your way to possible.
That’s the only act you need to have together.
Adults trying new things are a lot like babies learning to walk…stand up, fall down, reach for something to lean on, fall down again…sometimes your legs just wave in the air because you can’t even roll over to try again.
But, you do. They do. Roll over, stand up, fall down…
Some can essentially do a push up before they stand up. How cool is that?
Eventually, most babies get moving, on their feet.
What’s your method?