“Leaders who know their “players” well, and who have a clear vision and strong values, will win the loyalty and dedication of their teams.” — Misti Burmeister
At a recent piano lesson, my teacher told me about the coach of her son’s high-school football team. “I feel bad for them,” she said. “They always lose.” When I asked why they weren’t winning, she said, “To be honest, I don`t know if it`s the coach or just that we don`t have any talent.”
Sports are so much more clear-cut than business. Everyone understands the rules of the game, and the vision is already in place (get into the end zone and keep your opponent from scoring. Oh, and by the way, according to one announcer, “The most important statistic in a game is the score.” Brilliant!). Anyway, I digress… It seems to me that the difference between mediocre teams and truly great ones lies in their coaches’ visions and values.
Do these coaches care about their teams? Do they really want them to succeed on and off the field? Do they study the game and their players so that they can effectively coach each unique person? Or, do they just want a group of kids to go out there and fight through it every practice/game?
It’s the coaches who push themselves to learn and grow, and who insist on excellence on and off the field, who consistently win. The same is true of leaders. Those who know their “players” well, and who have a clear vision and strong values, will win the loyalty and dedication of their teams.
Of course, this assumes that the players want to be on the team. Otherwise, talent and excellent coaching will not make a player great.
In his book, Good To Great, Jim Collins shares a critical component to sustained success in business: Get the right people on the bus. Great coaches focus their time and attention on the players who care the most. Of course, knowing who belongs on the bus requires knowing where the bus is headed. Then, it’s all about developing the skills of those you’ve chosen to come along for the ride.
We`ve all heard about the salesperson who took over the failing territory and turned it around … the difference was in the approach and commitment, not the territory.
The same thing holds true with coaching – an athletic team or a team of employees.
Keeping it simple,
Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations, Hidden Heroes and Power Suck.