Coaches Know Team Work Outranks Position
Most team members have positions (e.g. goalies, forwards, outfielders, and left wingers). But even so, these players are allowed the latitude to move or act outside of those positions when circumstance necessitates. The center in a basketball game will take a shot from the perimeter if he has a good shot and if the pitcher catches a grounder, he will try to tag the man on first.
Many managers compartmentalize team members. Often a team member may have no idea what another is working on. There is no cross-pollenization of ideas or efforts. It’s like playing a game and having no idea where teammates are located on the field or how close they are to a goal. Playing blind does not permit teams to “pinch hit” for each other or point out systemic weaknesses in the project workflow.
Coaches Look Beyond the Game
Coaches know that their team members have lives and commitments beyond the team. They allow them to maintain their relationships, responsibilities and pursuits beyond the game because they know that gives them the mental tenacity to do their best on the field.
Many managers and companies look at team member as though s/he were an island. They do not consider that the wages they pay, the hours they require, or the personal investment requested affects their team member beyond the game. Coaches give their players the space to be human outside of the game. Don’t Micromanage down to Facebook pages and vacation choices—it only promotes resentment and fear; not loyalty.
Coaches Build Loyalty into the Team
The fatal flaw for the manager is that s/he doesn’t create a bond or an ideal that generates loyalty among team members. Instead, the manager is task oriented, unavailable, and cool; interfacing in staccato patters and rewarding based entirely on performance. Coaches know that they must forge a collective bond with their team. They must listen as well as speak. They pull players aside and give them private advice on how to succeed. Coaches create loyalty by inspiring their team and creating positive reciprocity.
Real coaches know that if you want to win a championship, there is no time for “personal favorites” or “sweethearts.” You give the ball to the man who can make the shot. Team members are evaluated based on their talent as well as their ability to lift the entire team. Coaches know that you can’t win the game with only the star player–you need the whole team.
Strive to be a coach and not just a manager to bring out the best in your people and the best in you.