Rule #29

Providing clear standards and expectations is a gift that coaches can offer. The comfort that comes from knowing what’s likely to happen, and what will happen after that, is real.

An important part of well defined standards is “what it doesn’t look like”.

If the downside outcome is achieved the real or imagined booooo you hear is the same voice that says, “I know you’ve got this!”.

Get back after it knowing your people are in your corner and will be behind you no matter what.

Rule #3

Most complexities are compiled of sets of simple things.

Simple. Not easy.

If your team knows where and who gets the ball, all your bases and covered and has an understanding of the need for backing up the current priorities, things will go well.

The doing is important, and the planning and understanding is critical, too.

A team that’s confident in their ball, base, backup plan–one that has run the drills over and over until the play is sharp and the communication is on point–is the one that will be able to deal with derailments with aplomb.

Being ready when things go wrong is a key to having them go right.

Rule #2

Play “the right way” each and every time?

The ends justify the means?

Unless everyone knows exactly what the right way is we won’t achieve that, and no-holds-barred, win at all costs isn’t ok either.

Like most things on a spectrum, reasonable performance and appropriate behavior is somewhere in the middle.

When it’s clear that it’s cheating, however, the answer is obvious.

Even if the people don’t know you’re skirting the rules–official or unofficial–the game will know (Rule #98).

True prosperity comes with honest success.

Exit Row

When you sit in the exit row on a plane you are required to give a verbal commitment.

You commit, by agreeing out loud, to do all you can to help the entire set of passengers get out in case of an emergency.

When you say “yes”, you’re saying, “I’m prepared to be a leader,” and to do what the 143 or 175 or 300 others need you to do, according to the specific instructions.

The others are on your team. You’re sharing an experience and have the same set of guidelines. For the duration of the flight you are a team.

As a leader your get some more leg room. That’s it. It may or may not be worth it. And even if you’re in the middle in the last row, the flight will be better if you are on board with the rules of being on board.

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.

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.

It wasn’t easy

Remember that time…? It seems like it was easy, right? You showed up and got it right.

Probably not.

Your successes are likely more complex than you remember them.

You worked hard, you considered options that ended up on the cutting room floor that you don’t even recall now.

Sometimes we think our former selves had it easier, or the competition wasn’t as tough as it actually was, or we were just better then…

Give yourself credit and get to work on the complex concern in front of you now.