Book Report on John C. Maxwell’s DEVELOPING THE LEADERS AROUND YOU
Chapter 8: Coaching A Dream Team of Leaders (Part 1)
Now that you have your team of future leaders, the next step is to learn how to groom them. All teams need someone to lead them, to guide them and to coach them…even a dream team. Nay, especially a dream team. A dream team of superstars would need a coach more than any team because as they may be individually great, as a team, they’re teamwork may not be on par. So what makes one be considered a dream coach?
A good coach needs to be able to discern the right players from the ones you don’t want in your team. The right players aren’t necessarily the best at present. The right players are those that can contribute to your dream team’s growth in whatever capacity they can. The coach must also regularly keep the players updated with the game plan. They must know the direction you want them to take so that they can also offer their own inputs and learn how to craft their own game plans in the future. Tell them your expectations, give them room to grow, check how things are going, motivate and empower them and give credit where credit is due. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have two-way communication between both parties. It’s not enough to talk about the game plan once. It has to be done on a recurring basis so that things stay fresh in their heads. A lot of things and situations can happen in between that requires refocusing and changing the game plan to adapt to the current situation.
It is also important to know what your team wants. A coach must never impose himself/herself all the time. Remember, communication needs to go both ways. If you, as a coach, want things to improve, you’ve got to let them feel accepted and that they’re part of the inner circle. If there are any problems that the team encounters, it’s up to the coach to be the problem-solver. There will always be issues related to the players’ personal lives, attitude towards work, and even with the game plan. As a coach, you won’t be able to prevent mistakes from happening. The only thing you can do is stand by them and grow from there.
A dream team coach is also a great facilitator. As I mentioned earlier, if you impose yourself too much, pretty soon your players won’t respect you and things will go awry at some point. A team must be built on the foundations of encouragement and support even if things do not go according to plan. As long as you’re working together, you need to support one another. In order to gather all the support you can, you must have the respect of your players and your peers. If you don’t have that, you can’t expect your team to follow and support you 100%. They’ll probably do what you ask but not to the best of their abilities. I like this line a lot – “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”. Only recently, I had a one-on-one tutoring session with a member of the team. A lot of time was used up because of it but it paid off. I saw a big improvement recently and if she can keep it up, it validates that line that I like a lot. If she didn’t improve, I would have had to make a tough call, even if I wouldn’t like it.
A coach must also treat all his/her players equally. Easier said than done. I myself play favorites with my family, friends, and co-workers. I just do what I can to remind myself to be fair especially when it counts the most. I do my best to give everyone all the opportunities they can to shine. I’m not afraid of them outshining me. In my mind, I’ll always be able to hold my head up high and say, “I was his/her coach.”