Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
When I decided to start writing a blog, I made a conscious decision to maintain a connection between leadership in business with leadership in sports.
I try to write in such a way as to be relatable to either environment and going as far to use sports examples in business focused posts and vice versa. Many times, it is not clear whether the focus of the blog is business or sports leadership and that is intended.
When I first created the 3 Pillars of Impact, the training and talks were almost solely focused on the business world except for the occasional example where I use a sports analogy to help with clarity. But I always knew I would eventually adapt the concept to the sports world as the 3 Pillars of Impact are the foundation to building a culture of winning at both the high school and collegiate levels.
In this post, I will introduce to you the Varsity Edition of the 3 Pillars of Impact with subsequent posts in the coming weeks to provide more detail on how they can be applied to your team.
Facing the Challenges
In my 3 Pillars for the corporate world, I talk about the Leadership Gap that exists and how it drives the Leadership Challenge that executives face. In the Varsity Edition, my focus is on the Challenges to a Winning Culture. P.J. Fleck said “On bad teams, no one leads. Average teams, coaches lead. But elite teams, players lead.” On a sports team, you don’t have the same hierarchy you find in the corporate world and the challenges tend to be more internal than external in nature.
“On bad teams, no one leads. Average teams, coaches lead. But elite teams, players lead.” - P.J. Fleck
Breaking out the SWOT
I enjoy introducing the SWOT Analysis to the players. For most of them, this is their first time using this tool. It’s a powerful tool to self-assess as an individual, work with coaches and teammates for 360* feedback, or to evaluate the team as a whole.
The twist I introduce is to make it more than a static assessment by analyzing your internal strengths and weakness versus the external Opportunities and Threats. Based upon the analysis of these relationships, we create Action Plans that can lead to Skill Training, Practice Plans, and/or Coaching Strategies.
3 Pillars of Impact: Varsity Edition
The Pillars themselves are the same in the Varsity Edition as in the corporate version. But how they are described and what is being emphasized is a little different to fit the environment. Again, I will dig deeper into each of these Pillars in future posts.
Courage of Challenge
Driving Home the Culture of Winning
Ultimately, if you want to build a Culture of Success at work or a Culture of Winning in the locker room, it starts by making sure the 3 Pillars are in place.
Before I introduce the 3 Pillars of Impact in my talk, I get the team to share their perspective of what a Great Team looks like. What do they act like? What do they stand for?
It is always enlightening to get the feedback from the team, to watch the dynamics as you seek input from the younger members of the team as well as the older, more acknowledged leaders.
Once I have reviewed and discussed the 3 Pillars of Impact with the team, I then revisit what a great team looks like. It’s interesting to see more clarity in their answers. They can describe the behavior in greater detail. You can see that they are relating to what it needs to be as well as understanding what it can be.
"Every team wants to win. Every player wants to win. Every coach wants to win. But it's the teams that honor what goes into winning and work at those things every day that will be highly successful." - Coach Shaka Smart
As I wrap up the discussion, I come back to the "I Want" vs "I Will" concept that was introduced at the beginning during the Challenge to a Winning Culture discussion. Some straightforward questions drive home my point and reinforce what it takes to establish a winning culture. I ask for a show of hands to each of these questions:
That last question leads to the main takeaway for the team. It is an I WILL document which helps each of them build an action plan to commit to their team’s success. The first step of any journey starts with action. Remember, it’s not the "I WANT" but the "I WILL" that creates a Culture of Winning, Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.