Running Alongside

Even within a great team, each individual is running their own race.

She might also be a part of a relay, running the team’s race, but for sure she is running her own race.

Our starting lines vary, our pace ebbs and flows until we find a rhythm.

Encouraging each player to run well–to be healthy and efficient–while still being able to cheer the others on–that’s one way coaches can help move the entire entourage down the course.

Usually there are a lot of moving parts–which is better than parts that are frozen in time.

Find ways to cheer for the team and for every racer.

I Wish My People Took More Ownership!

Coaching Is Hard. Fact.

Wanting both to control “all of the situations” and have teams in which people were making suggestions and giving input…these two things struggle to coexist.

Are you really giving your people room to own things on your team? Do they have actual ability to impact change? Do you have a history of soliciting input, asking for ideas?

If not, can you really expect them to own this thing that they don’t really have a piece of?

Who Gets To Contribute?

Who gets to help shape your program?

Who doesn’t get to? Who is supposed to show up and shut up?

Who MUST contribute?

Think about how you want your program to be, to become, to feel to those who come near it.

Think about it, write it down, and share it.

You’ll probably think today’s version is lacking, or even terrible, at some future date. That’s ok. Think about it, write it down, share it and see what happens.

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?

Teaching Does Not Lead to Learning

Nothing is automatic.

Learning doesn’t happen for students because a teacher works hard or does their best.

Learning doesn’t need permission either. It’s going to happen if the conditions are right.

The teacher (formal or otherwise) can do the condition-creating and push the odds higher, and a motivated student surely helps.

The fun part is that we often learn something completely unexpected.

Keep looking for the learning.

Experiential Learning

The best kind of learning is that which we can be or do rather than hear or think about.

Teaching is about offering opportunities to try (and fail?), to experiment and to experience.

Of course “students” can do these things without the teacher, too. Providing the conditions for these experiences is a great boost to the learning possibilities, but it’s not necessary.

Pupils will learn about what they care about.

Direct, question, massage the experience and be a great teacher because your people are great learners.

Learning to Talk

We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.

Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.

There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.

Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.

Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.

Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*

*the “it” can really be anything.

To Connect or Not

As a raging extrovert, I get sad and tired when I’m alone for too long.

It’s a status that some have a hard time understanding, and I have to work to get it when people say that they are overwhelmed with the act of being social.

There is no right nor wrong here, and working to understand what you need and celebrate that is a key to happiness.

Creating a team of people who share culture, language and a common lens, as well as goals, is easier when you realize that it’s not about the “kind of person” that’s a fit.

The kind of person a good team needs is the kind that commits to the culture, language and goals.

Simple, not easy.

New To You

You see a quote or Google a concept and get some great info…the you realize the resource is from 2 years ago, or five, or twenty five…

Does that make it a bad, old or tired reference?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Good ideas have been around for a long time (and, you probably have some yourself). For sure you can adopt, adapt or customize such concepts others’ ideas to make them work for you.

Consider the content rather than the source. Use your own perspective and situations to decide what might be good for you.

Meanwhile, add to the universe of good ideas and perhaps make someone else’s world better at the same time.

Sports Aren’t Fair.

Recycled thoughts from 2015…
 
Work as hard as you can.  
 
Do 100% of the things you could do to set yourself up for success and you still might not get what you want.
 
Our society teaches kids to think positively, work hard…and they’ll get what they want.  We’re lying to them.  They still should work really hard, have goals and systems to move them forward. 
 
The lie is that hard work will surely lead to success.
 
In team sports there are only so many starting spots, places on all-star teams and winners.  It’s zero-sum.  For every winner there is a loser. By saying everyone can, with hard work, be a winner is doing a disservice to kids and to the process of working hard.
 
Yup, sometimes you do everything right and someone is still better than you.
 
By communicating this we help kids value the process, really cherish the victories and learn from the losses. Without this clarity they come to think of themselves as losers and many quit trying.  This hurts everyone.