It's March Madness! During a long layover at the Atlanta
airport, basketball games were on every available screen. I
observed the loud collective cheers and groans….and then I watched
the close-up shots of the coaches. Such a difference in style,
experience, and results!
That got me thinking. If there was a "close-up" of your family
business team leader, what would we see? If you had a choice, would
you want to follow him or her again?
An eye-opening exercise from one of my workshops has attendees
identifying and remembering a really good coach from their past
from sports, music, drama, speech, FFA, 4-H. I then have them list
the qualities that made that person a good coach. Here are
some of the frequent results:
She painted a clear picture of the goals and identified
the game plan. She could envision the future and outcome
which lead to focus and strategy. Understanding the reasons and
resources built motivation and commitment; being flexible to adapt
created longevity. We all wanted to play for her.
He explained things so I could understand; then made
sure I did. And he listened to me, kept an eye open for
opportunities, asked for my ideas and respected my input.
He understood that people are not mind readers, and some of us
learn in different ways. He was eager to listen and encouraged my
ability to think and solve problems.
She understood my strengths and said I was a really
important member of the team. She clearly identified roles
and delegated with trust and did not micromanage. She made sure the
right people were trained for the right jobs which built individual
success and confidence.
He cheered me on to do good work, praised me when I
did…and was the teacher, holding me to account when I needed
correction. His feedback was an investment in the future
for both the individuals and the team. Accountability and
demonstrated gratitude developed an engaged, progressive team.
She cared about me. She demonstrated her caring
through time, words and actions. It was easy to want to follow and
learn from one who believed in me, personally and in my role on the
He walked his talk. He was credible because of
his experience, consistent good character and earned reputation.
And, he didn't expect us to do something he wouldn't do. He led by
example and had high standards for himself.
She was always eager to learn from others, including
from those on the team. She was always a student, learning
from all kinds of resources, including those younger and older. She
would solicit input and feedback so that everyone felt part of the
He was honest. His morals and values were clear
and he had great integrity with a passion for the team and the
sport. Because I could trust him and his word, I was able to fail
and succeed and grow to be a better team member.
She knew the value of work and the value of
play. We worked hard. We built in practice, pacing and
play. We celebrated. All recharged my passion to do better and be
better, for the team, for myself, for my family, for the
During this season of March Madness….maybe it would be good to
take a "team time-out." What do you value in a leader? What might
you do to become the leader others might want to follow?
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