Does Everyone Know?

Oh yeah, everyone thinks that’s the right thing to do.

Everyone says it’s true.

I’ll get everyone together and we’ll get it done.

Is “everyone” really all of the people? Who’s important, and who is optional to be in the group of everyone?

If you need everyone on board you better be sure that everyone knows what’s happening. And if you don’t need everyone then just ask the people who are crucial.

Make Me!

Today I asked a college coach in her 3rd year as a head coach what she thinks departments should do to help first year HCs?

“What do you wish had happened?”, that first year, I asked her.

I wish that it was not optional to have regularly scheduled coaching sessions.

I needed help that I didn’t even know about.

I needed someone to ask me questions and reflect my answers.

I wish I had a chance to ask about the mechanics of running a program.

I needed some lessons on head coaching.

Where were we for that coach and the athletes that didn’t get our best product?

Best Practices

So, there is probably a really good way to do the thing that you need to do. Others have done it before, I’m sure, and you can get a lot from their experience.

You can research the best way to do this thing, you can rely on your own experience or you can ask a friend.

In my experience, I find that relying on my own best practices, for that thing or other similar things I’ve done before, is the best way to get a satisfactory result.

If I think about the way I like to do things, the way the best things have worked out for me, I find that there aren’t really an unlimited way to do things…

So, do something, see how it feels when it’s done, redo it, and go from there.

The best way to practice, is to practice.

What Does She Need?

What if that was the question we asked?

How can I help other guy?

What does this kid need from me as a coach? What am I going to do to move this situation forward?

We all have a narrative about what’s ok and what’s not, who is “good” and who’s not, but how often do we think about what’s actually best for the other guy? Now.

Of course what’s best for the team might be different. Then the questions change.

What’s It Cost?

New tires for your car might not be in your budget at first glance. But, is having a car that’s drivable of value to you? If you don’t have tires you don’t have a car, really.

Usually we ask about the price rather than the value. To us. At this time. That’s really the question.

If a thing or service is valuable to us at this time, we’ll find a way to cover the costs.

What do you need that will really add value in your world?

I Had To Learn To Be A Learner

Are you a teacher? How about a learner?

Are you looking for ways to do things better, or looking to be sure people do things your way?

Coaching is a noble profession, and many of us take pride in being teachers! We teach our sport and we teach “life lessons” through our programs.

What lessons are we learning?

Deep into my coaching career I looked up and realized that I’d been teaching for years and not learning much at all. Yes, experience served as a great teacher but I was not doing any intentional learning. And, certainly I had not asked my people to teach me.

Learning to be a learner has been the most important factor in turning a career into ongoing passion.

What about you?

I Have An Open Door Policy

Coach, your open door policy only means people can see in as they walk by.

Kids aren’t going to simply stop by to talk about all of the important things.

No matter how young you are, this “they know where to find me” mentality is abdicating your responsibilities as a leader. You’re saying that it’s on them, the junior partner in this relationship, to seek you out, to even know when they need something from you.

It’s on you to be sure that they are doing ok, that they know what you and team membership requires of them, to know where they stand relative to the team standards (those are really clear, right?)…

Leadership is an activity.

Who Do You Work For?

The ones who matter.

In pro sports, players often talk about thankfulness for the team owners who gave them a chance, and the fans who show up for them. They work “for” them.

The owners are up the ladder. They have control and steer the ship on the highest level. They set compensation and get to decide direction.

The fans are more fickle and demand the best each day (especially when they are in the stands), they lift players up and criticize freely.

In what ways are your players owners and fans in your world?

Not Balance

Having fun at work is great.

Most of us spend a lot of time “on the job” and it’s unfortunate when it’s all drudgery.

But, I don’t think we need to infuse some “fun” into the mix just because.

In what ways do you or could make your work more playful? And not just for yourself, but for your people and players, too.

The fun that’s ping pong and cookie decorating is less impactful that the fun that comes from achieving goals or seeing improvement.

Make “game goals” out of your hour-to-hour work.

Get things done and see how you feel.