A few weeks ago I wondered, not for the first time, why we value the New Year. Why does the turn of the calendar have such an impact on what we think about our future, or our past?
It was mid-December and I was already watching people wish away weeks of time just to talk about the things their future self would (might) decide to do.
I would like to say that that was confusing but really it’s not. The future-self concept explains it all. We are always excited about our possibilities, the things we’ll get to “when…”.
Sitting here I’m guilty as charged. I have great hopes and dreams, and I suppose that many of them will come true. If only my future self lives up!
I am resolute. I’m unwavering in my support of my future self. Proud, actually, is the word for how I feel about upcoming self. THAT person will get shit done. Full stop.
So, I know the holes in my game are many, and I know that I’ll keep working, resolutely, to do the things I can’t wait to get to. I know that the reality may or may not match the dream, but that’s keeping it real, and doing my best in the moment. This moment.
Leading is much more than showing, or telling, what you know. It’s allowing others to learn, or to know what they can, at this moment.
Questions are among the most powerful tools in your kit. Authentic, “this is what I’m wondering” questions lead to amazing insights.
And, the asker is often not the primary, and certainly not the only recipient of knowledge.
In fact, questions almost never stand alone. Nor does the asker. Someone else almost always has a version of the same inquiry. By not asking out loud, opportunities are missed.
A leader among peers will find ways to encourage questions rather than stifle them with a barrage of answers.
Questions are unifying. In this unprecedented time, coaches can use strong questions to bring groups together when they can’t be together, to unify thru forcing a shared experience. Learning, together, is powerful.
Leadership can look like the solo, up front, figure, the one with the microphone, at the podium, all eyes on them. It can also look like living the values, being curious about the future and asking questions that others might be afraid to ask.
Rather than saying, “Google it,” ask, “what do you think?” and see how it goes.
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?
Everything happens before it happens.
Your perception of “the present” likely is actually around things that have already happened or are about to happen.
Is it possible to Live In The Moment? Sure, but the moment includes time that’s gone by and things to come.
Let’s not get caught up in whether we’re doing a good job of being in the present or not and enjoy whatever the experience is, with the people we’re with.
Teams only go around once.