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.
Should you work on your weaknesses or bolster your strengths?
Do you know what pieces of your game are in those categories? Are they the same as they were at some point in the past? Does it matter?
How about considering the things that are central to who you are, making decisions about what direction to go in and then doing what you said you would?
Too often we spend time and energy thinking about what we’ll think about and little time doing things and learning from the outcomes.
Most often we think of experiences as nouns.
They are things that happen to or around us, or even events or activities that we take part in or get to be a part of.
That was a great experience!
Let’s try to celebrate and embrace the verb experience, to really feel the things, to be active in the doing.
By being present in the experiencing might we shape it, feel it more deeply and allow it to shape us? Maybe we’ll learn more about how to help others experience these things, or make the next time even more impactful.
…seems better than just talking about it later.
Look at the littlest things when things are not going well.
What small components need a tweak?
Start with the little things. It’s easier and more effective than dismantling the big things only to find that it’s the little things that needed the work in the first place.
Who works for whom?
Taking care of business, getting things done is of course important. And, what about growing your people?
Ask, if this person were better at their job, what would that look like? And would that thing make your organization better.
If yes, start to prep them for that success.
Compass or map, which is more important?
Is is the goal? The plan? Maybe the execution?
Which way is the way for you? Who gets to decide.
Think about how or who draws your map, and who calibrates your compass.
What are the “rules” of coaching?
Do you need to have a handbook? A playbook?
A set of 4-10 pillars that you stand by/live by/teach by?
Is player buy-in the most important thing?
What about “knowing yourself”?
Are you allowed to change your mind? Do you have to change your mind?
You do know that there are secrets out there that only a few have access to, right?
Some of any of these things is probably a good thing…and the wrong ones only invite you to keep working on being better. Isn’t that what we ask our players to do?
No wrong answer. No right answer. I’m just going to keep asking questions.
“Warts and all”, is a phrase we use to mean that we accept the failings and the shortcomings of those we love or appreciate, or, perhaps, need.
We don’t typically, however, use this phrase when we talk about ourselves. The “warts” that we know we have (how did warts get such a bad name anyway?) somehow don’t even make it to the front of the stage to get mention when we’re talking our us…or me, or myself.
It’s challenging to look for faults in ourselves. If we knew of them we would have fixed them! Or, would we? Maybe it’s acceptance that takes the place of introspection or deliberation of such faults.
Make time, front of your mind time, to examine the “warts” in your world, to look at the ways you fall short or are lacking.
As we look at our own pains or the holes in our game we may realize that they are either not so bad, or easier to fix than we thought. Either way, it’s liberating in a way to admit to these things, to say, “yes, I could/should/might be better in these ways.”
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?
People have to sign things in order to participate. From elementary school to the NCAA, one can’t participate unless they agree to do or not do certain things. This we (mostly) easily accept, and regardless, the rules are really clear.
You likely have written rules for your team, no matter what type of team it is. Perhaps a handbook, employee guide, posters in the lockerroom or a contract to sign.
On the flip side, many of us have more unwritten rules than written ones. “Work hard”, “show respect”, “be a good teammate”, are all big picture unwritten rules.
Does everyone on your team know exactly what is meant by those unwritten rules? Do you know?
Perhaps you also have some that are similar to these: “freshman do the grunt work”, or “the head coach is always right”.
It’s time well spent to investigate and know what the unwritten rules are on your team–you may not even know that they exist–and to clarify the ones you like. Even more importantly, shine light on the ones that are not valid or helpful to your team (“we drink a lot on Saturday nights”), and rid your team of these unhelpful rules.