The title of G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time) is being overused at this point in all media, but if you ask most football fans, the 2 GOAT Coaches of College and NFL made headline news this week, within 24 hours of each other.
Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, winner of 6 Superbowls in the last 24 years, and Nick Saban of University of Alabama fame, winner of 7 National Championships during his career, said goodbye.
Belichick, 71, was forced out due to changing times and a few years of having a losing record, and for Saban it was just time as a 72-year old coaching young men.
I’ve had a lot of coaches in my life, from the days of old in high school, to business coaches, fitness and nutritionist coaches, finance, speech, and vocal coaches… you name it, I have spent a great deal of time and money with coaches.
A Coach is necessary to teach you what you can’t see about your efficiency, hold you accountable to what you’ve promised, and push you to new levels you didn’t know you had.
The best Coaches for me have always had a great way of listening, empathy for excuses, but not allowing them to continue, while encouraging greatness, rather than scaring or intimidating someone to succeed.
The coaches I have never given time to talk about are the ones who treated me poorly, as those were the times when success was not achieved, we didn’t win, and eventually they were all fired or forced to retire.
I applaud the hard work and tenacity of coaches who have done what Belichik and Saban were able to accomplish, it truly is historic. And yet, I am torn at how much I am hearing of them being celebrated with little word of the underlying theme of both of their regimes, which was: Be Grumpy, Be Rude, Be Angry, Be Unhappy All The Time, Be Eternally Miserable and make everyone around you the same.
I get that people have personalities, and for football coaches the best very well may be the meanest, most intensely miserable humans on earth.
But I can say those aren’t necessarily the traits you want in a coach every time.
There are plenty of great coaches who are as kind, thoughtful, loving, caring as can be, while getting the best out of players, performers, and leaders, without having to belittle, scare, intimidate, or berate.
For years I have slowly but surely become a coach in more situations than I thought may ever happen. As a basketball coach for my young sons years ago, I recalled my own father coaching me in sports, and our different unique styles: he would motivate us with tenacity, vision, and passion, whereas I would joke with my players, tell stories, and still teach them, until they played happy and with joy.
In all cases, we won with happiness, teamwork, lifetime friendships with each other and opponents. We went away with positive memories of the experience.
Now as a coach, mentor, consultant, and leader in multiple businesses, I am finding all of the same principles apply in the corporate office as they did when coaching kids how to be a team as 11-year olds:
- Find their Strengths (ie: Signature Moves) and play to those
- Over Communicate to ensure understanding of what is expected
- Celebrate every little thing, and then celebrate it again
- Practice makes Permanent – Meetings ignite Motivation
- Share the ball – Search diligently for the best person for the Job on the Team
- Selfishness is essential when it is determined by your peers that you are the best for the job, and in that, you are being selfless by taking ownership of your leadership position, title or not
- Serve first, share your ideas, and we will collectively decide what is the best plan of action
- Be courageous enough to speak up
- Praise publicly, correct privately
- Pick up the phone and call, make a video, hop on Zoom, more often than sending a text, email, or written communication
There are plenty of styles of effective coaching, management and leadership. What are yours? Maybe it’s time to run it through the ICM Process (Identify, Clarify, Magnify). Here’s a link if you’re wondering what yours are:
Screaming, micromanaging, belittling, being emotional and plain old rude aren’t the answer anymore. Perhaps they have been the solution for the last 40 years in football with Belichick and Saban, but just like parenting once quietly accepted spanking and whippings to get compliance from children, the times are changing, and there are still ways to get someone to do great things without a belt, fly-swatter, or sideline whistle.
Inspiring those we lead to keep their promises, pointing out their best talents, helping them offload what others can do to help, and bring their best every day, is true leadership and coaching.
As the old guard changes in the world of sports, and perhaps you see it in your world of work, community, religion, it isn’t a matter of being soft or a pushover, but rather understanding there is a better way than what once was, and that encouragement, acknowledgement, and praising good effort returns great results.
How are you praising, lifting, and empowering those you are coaching?
That is Your Leadership Promise.
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~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Mentor
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach The Promise
- Author of “The Promise To The One”
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