At the February 24th event, John shared from his experience and friendships with two hall of fame coaches. These coaches, the late Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee women’s basketball head coach, and John Wooden, previous UCLA men’s basketball head coach, made an incredible leadership impact on his life. John taught eight leadership lessons in combination with their coaching experience and his insight to bring these coaching principles to life.
Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less. Steward the influence that you have with your players and assistant coaches with great responsibility and care. Influence can be gained and lost depending on how you lead your team.
You have to lead yourself before you can lead anyone else. If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why would anyone else want to follow you? To sharpen your self-leadership skills read my book Developing the Leader Within You (see below).
You have to find your players before you lead them. Talk with your players, ask them questions and get to know each of them. This allows you to find them, so that you can lead them.
Coaches are people of value who add value to others. Players won’t remember all the diagrams with X’s and O’s, but they will remember what you teach them about life. Show each player that they are valued as a person.
The only guarantee that you will be better tomorrow is that you are growing today. Whether it’s being a better coach, a better team, or a better player, growth doesn’t happen on accident. Be intentional, create a growth plan.
Experience is a good teacher, but evaluated experience is the best teacher. Evaluate the wins, the losses,and how the team reacts. During half-time, Coach Pat Summit would have her players evaluate and answer the following questions: What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What do we need to change?
If you’re at the top all alone, you’re not a leader…you’re a hiker. First thing you do as a leader is get off the top and connect with your people. Be available, walk slowly through the team, and be adaptable. You go to where they are, and then you start taking them where you are. Your goal is to bring your people to the top.
Decision making is overrated, decision managing is underrated. Coaching is about managing your decisions and teaching the players to manage their decisions. Decision managing allows a team to stay focused on what they have chosen to go after together.