“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi
Everybody loves a winning team. We all want either to be part of one, or preferably, help build one. However, building a winning team takes more than just teamwork. It takes great coaching, and great coaching can breed a coaching mentality.
A commonality in all great coaches is, they seemingly shine as individuals and they succeed by surrounding themselves with winners. They identify “winners” through well-defined, tested and field proven hiring and training processes.
Finding the right people is only the first step toward building what eventually becomes known as one’s coaching tree. Great coaches develop talent through a process known as “coaching up,” a method which involves daily or at least weekly interaction to work toward measurable objectives, reinforce positives and consistently address areas needing improvement, both measurable and non-measurable.
A coach who depends solely on negative correction will ultimately fail. In addition, a coach must be decisive in identifying and concentrating only on those team members able and willing to respond to coaching. Those who cannot cut it after a true coaching effort should be redirected for the good of the team and even themselves.
Great coaches all have common traits. The first of these is consistent visibility. Coaches must commit to regular interaction with team members, committing to spending significant time with them. Meaningful interaction cannot be conducted from the office, the conference room, or via email; it should be done face to face in the field. The wins will come to those who get into the spotlight for meaningful and routine debriefings.
Great coaches communicate clear feedback attained from direct observation. What good can come from telling a team member that he or she is “good with customers” if the basis is merely retention numbers? A true evaluation of personal talent, as well as meaningful objectives for continuous improvement, requires the coach to observe what the team member is doing on or in the field. Get involved. Set achievable goals and measure performance.
Motivating varied team members is the heart of successful coaching. Different personalities are differently motivated, so it is essential for a coach to know the various types in his or her organization. Coaches have to be ready to go with their team players anytime, anywhere to walk the talk. That way, team players know you won’t ask them to do what you’re unwilling to do, yourself.
Coaches harness the power of the Paretos Rule, known popularly as the 80/20 rule, focusing on those capable of producing the largest positive effects. Your time is valuable. Do not waste time on nonperformers; spend it on those willing to make the effort. Enabling mediocrity is a losing strategy, since a team only is as strong as its weakest link.
By focusing on those who have a service mentality, a smart coach can achieve Paretos effects. A service mentality is always identifiable, because this type of person delights in helping customers solve their problems and achieve their goals.
Since they identify with their client’s problems, taking ownership in their solution, true service people tend to build and develop long-term relationships and often become part of the client’s extended family. Often, these people learn to anticipate client problems while offering real-world solutions. They are able to combine empathy with meaningful action; thus, they tend to be promotable.
Great coaches coach players up to peak performance levels where expectations aren’t just met, but exceeded. This first step in the process is setting a high bar. Achieving the same lo performance, period in and period out, is a seductive losing strategy. The objective of being Number One must be continually refreshed.
Great coaches spread the recognition as far as it will go. First division winners reward the performers who achieve real goals, and they do it both financially and symbolically. Winning coaches put their team in the spotlight, and the coach’s ego be damned. Victory is team victory. This is how you guarantee players who will leave it all on the field, every time.
Strive for consistency and objectivity in rewarding performance. Be timely in conducting reviews and distributing rewards and bonuses, recognizing the winners publicly and with enthusiasm. This word comes from the Greek en theos, meaning in God or in the spirit. Get in the spirit when kudos is given. Later, you can redirect the non-performers in private.
Build your coaching tree, not for you, but for your team and your company. Get your winners into promotable position where they are viewed by management and staff as coaching material. A coach who fails to develop promotable player/coaches cannot build sustainable success.
Winners aren’t born. They come from everywhere and they are made. Resolve today to never waste a winner’s potential. Take the raw talent where you are, mold them into a team hungry to win. You will be helping yourself, the person, your company, your industry and truly, mankind.
What could possibly compete with that?
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