Building Culture is Simple

  1. Pour the foundation.  What are you all about, Coach? ID your drivers, your values, the things that you insist upon, or wish you did.
  2. Frame it.  Determine the language and lens that you’ll use to see the creation of the program and team.  What are the critical pieces?  There is no shame in asking your people here either. Get consensus, have great conversations.
  3. Get the tools in line & get everyone to agree on the floor plan.  Determine what the finished product will look like if it’s great.
  4. Decorate.  What’s this season’s slogan? Do you have a hashtag? A secret handshake? A goal that everyone can get in line with?

Number 1 is mostly driven by the leader. The head coach, the person at the top.  YOU must have an idea of the central principles by which you’ll drive the program and from there you can, and should, include all of the important people.

Start there.  Simple.  Not easy.

Make It Up

When people don’t know what’s going on, they make something up.

Most are uncomfortable with the feeling, “I don’t know,” so they insert a story into the situation. It’s really a part of the human condition.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“She must just be a &#^&$ ,”, or “He’s just reacting to that thing that happened.”, or “I’m pretty sure that those guys are not the kind of guys we want to hang out with.”  

Things go south QUICKLY on teams when things are not easy and communication is not valued.  Or perhaps good “communication” is not defined well to be understood among the individuals, and so people have to make up stories to fill the gaps in understanding. 

What if coaches made it their top priority to define great communication, display the standards through positive and negative examples and talked about it

every

single

day?

Would that help?


Principle #106: Leaders Are Believers

Or, put another way, only people who believe are likely to be followed.  

As a “leader” one must have the values and principles of the program or organization not just committed to memory, but embedded in the fiber of their being. They must get energy from these things, and thus will transmit energy to others in their world.

To believe you must know, and you must work to be sure that ALL of the people important to the organization also know; that they look through the lens of the values and speak the language of the principles and standards.

True belief in an action, even if the outcome it uncertain, is a mark of a real leader.

Planning matters, plans are useless

Checking boxes, feeling productive when you get thru a pile of emails that have no real impact on your work, taking a deep breath and being relieved when the “workday” is over…FEELS GREAT!

We often celebrate “getting %*&@#$ done” without assessing whether or not we are actually moving forward.

What if we spent more time considering the bedrock concepts that drive us and our business/team/operation?  If we dug into the why, the reasons behind, the what-if-it-worked, we might have more impact.

Spend time working on the plans, working the process (sound familiar?) to create a great plan and the execution itself will be easier. 

Passion is my passion

Do we really need to find our passion? Or, even a passion at all? Is this a requirement for happiness as much of the world is telling us?

If we’re supposed to have a passion and we don’t feel as if we do, does that mean we are a failure? Does it mean anything? (While I’m at it, is “meaning” really all that important?)

I say be passionate about the thing or things that fuel you passionate bones at the time. Be where you are and do that thing really well…be that person at a high level.

When we take a deep breath and work to be our best current selves I believe we make ourselves and others better without even trying to be something or someone in the future.

Principle #45: Why Not Change?

If you are currently dissatisfied, what’s the downside to making changes?

There are a lot of reasons why we don’t change.  Mostly they have to do with fear.

We fear losing standing or losing face if we admit weakness, and change is seen as admitting weakness, a fact that makes no sense yet consumes us in many areas.  What if we change and lose a game? On the way to improvement we may be seen as “less than”, somehow.

But, if you’re currently not happy with the situation, you are already “less than” a future you may be able to create.

Why not make a change?

Principle #7 Monsters In the Corner

Did you ever notice that when you shine a flashlight under the bed, or simply turn on the lights, that the boogeyman disappears?

If you have issue in your operation or in any relationship, it works to turn on the lights. Illuminate the concerns, even if you are unsure who is “right” or what the “right” thing to do is.

State the facts, solicit opinions, and see if bringing it out in the open helps to give you ideas as to how to proceed.

“The thing to do” is often super clear after you get a good look at the problem.  Reflect on your values and the lens at which you see the world, and a course of action will show itself.