Coach by Example

coachk

via Business Insider

Sunday, Coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1,000th basketball game.  Incredible feat.  His after the game interview was pure Coach K, he took zero credit for himself and gave all the credit to his mentors and players. He is truly a class act and it’s no wonder why he’s been so successful as a college basketball coach.  Coach K has always commanded excellence at Duke because he has exemplified excellence as well.  I doubt he has ever asked any of his future or former players to do anything that he has not done himself.  He leads by example and takes incredibly good care of his players.

Since I am a basketball sports junkie, most of my management style comes from being on a team for many years and from coaching.  I believe that in the office just like the sports team, chemistry is essential.  If you have the wrong people on the court or on a project at the same time and they do not work well together…you will not score points on the court or in the office.  The coach/manager has to recognize chemistry and build a team with the best chemistry possible in order to succeed.

It is up to the coach/manager to build a good culture on the team and in the office.  If the coach/manager works hard to live that culture every day, the team will excel.  If the coach/manager treats culture as lip service the team will fail.  I have seen so many sports teams have amazing talent but not be reach their potential because the coach does not have a good policy/culture on discipline. The same is true in the office, if the manager allows a poor culture to be the norm, rock star employees will seek opportunities elsewhere, thus the team will fail.  Coaches and managers cannot ask their people to follow rules or policies that they are not willing to follow themselves.  This is usually a dictatorship management style and trust me, dictatorships get overthrown!

Attitude goes a long way when coaching or managing a team.  If the coach is negative in practice then the team will begin to believe they aren’t very good.  If a manager is negative in staff meetings then his team will stop bringing new ideas to the table for fear of negative feedback from the boss. Positive people live better lives…I am convinced of it.  In that interview, Coach K was positive about everything and everyone.  Duke didn’t play a perfect game but he talked about how they came back and how they fought until the end.  That’s positive speak, not negative.  It’s no wonder he’s the greatest college basketball coach of all time.

Finally, I love a coach with passion.  The coaches who jump up and down on the sideline, meet their players on the field and hug them…those are great coaches.  Everyone loves to be cheered for and recognized for great effort.  Managers can’t forget that its their job to cheer on the team and hand out atta girls/boys. When the team does well, celebrate, every time.  Players/employees want to play for people who are passionate. My good friend, Stephanie Buckley, always says, “be the fountain not the drain.” I love that statement and I think more coaches/managers could learn from it. Managing people does not have to be a drain for the manager or the employees.

What is your favorite management style?

 

 

What to Give Employees for Christmas

clarkIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…or so they say.  Not everyone thinks so and you may have employees who really struggle this time of year.  It’s a good time to show your employees how much you appreciate them and remember that just because it’s Christmas, not everyone is feeling jolly.  There are many reasons your people might be stressing this holiday season; end of year projects and deadlines, 4th quarter projections, budget crunches at home, family visits, finding enough time to holiday shop and guilt for taking vacation time.  Yep, it can be a really stressful time.  Here are few ways to help your employees enjoy the holiday season:

1. Give Cash: If you plan to give anything at all, yes a nice pen set is practical but people want cash…every.single.year.

2. Plan the holiday party during work hours: Your folks are busy, they don’t have time to attend a holiday party after hours at your house…be respectful of their time and plan a lunch during the week.

3. Be flexible with time off: Some people have to travel near and far and others just need extra time to cook the Christmas dinner, reward your employees with surprise afternoons off to help with the stress.

4. Keep it simple: Don’t make your employees decorate the office to the nth degree and your employees are busy checking their lists twice, don’t add more gift giving around the office.

5. Be sensitive: Not everyone on your staff may celebrate Christmas. Also for many, Christmas can be a sad time for those who have lost loved ones.  Don’t expect everyone in the office to sing Christmas carols with you.

I hope these tips will help make this year a low-key and stress-free holiday season in the work place.