Leadership

Timeout for Leadership-your one-minute leadership idea

Op-ed #21

Do you have to prove yourself?  Again?

Fact:

You bet you do!!!

Yes, you have to prove yourself on a daily basis. Of course, over time you should have built up some good will capital, but every day serves as a new proving ground for you.  This is especially true when a new boss comes in.  Sorry to tell you, you have to prove yourself all over again.

There is no time to rest on your laurels.  We have talked about that before.  Your work place can change on a daily basis.  Get used to it.  And if you can’t get used to it, don’t be surprised when you are not in the same school, same corporation or same team. Any of these actions could occur by your own choice or the choice of management.

This topic came to light for me, once again following the NFL draft.  A new coach told a disgruntled veteran, who some consider one of the best at his position, prior to the draft, that he will be asked to prove himself to the upcoming new coaching staff. This was not what the player wanted to hear.  Yes, this new coach is trying to win games and will ultimately be fired if does not produce, asking a player to demonstrate his abilities to a new management team.  How dare he?  One must also always remember that to win games on the field, management must win the locker room.  Yes, it all goes back to culture.  You have heard that from me before and I will continue to harp on this point.  I choose to harp because, many principals and coaches that I know have forgotten that point, or perhaps never embraced it to begin with.

Suffice to say, the player described above was traded on draft day.  Kudos to the coach and management and good luck to the player.  I have a funny feeling that in several years this player will be disgruntled again.  Of course, I oversimplified this example.  Playing in the NFL has a great deal to do with who is getting paid.  The players that are the highest paid are supposed to be the best and be on the field.

As a former principal and superintendent, I came into work expecting to give my best and prove myself every day to my board of education and to my team of staff members.  And I know that if I did not have this frame of mind, I would be letting everyone down, especially myself.  And yes, if I expected this of myself, I would expect it of my colleagues and teammates.

It was also my job as the “head coach” to point out to my team when I saw them not proving to me their ability or potential every day.  And I know this is where that I perhaps did not do my best.  Then I would complain to myself or others my displeasure with my staff performance. And the more I think about it, it was not necessarily the performance of each individual that frustrated me, it was their lack of commitment or their lack of effort. It was my job to turn this attitude around or work to find this person a different team.  And upon reflection, perhaps I did not give a championship effort and performance on these facets of my leadership.  I implore you not to make my mistake.

That being said, I wanted to build my team with the “grinders.”  Those people that would come in everyday and give their best effort.  It starts with the hiring process.  Of course, you needed the superstar that could fit in.  That is true not only on a team but in a school or business.  You may have to pass on that superstar that may become a disruptor either on the field or in the locker room. When you hit on the right mixture of grinders and stars, and you can win the locker room, I am confident that you will have a chance for that championship.

Be patient.  Have a plan.  Good luck!

Leadership

Timeout for Leadership-your one-minute leadership idea

Op-ed #21

Do you have to prove yourself?  Again?

Fact:

You bet you do!!!

Yes, you have to prove yourself on a daily basis. Of course, over time you should have built up some good will capital, but every day serves as a new proving ground for you.  This is especially true when a new boss comes in.  Sorry to tell you, you have to prove yourself all over again.

There is no time to rest on your laurels.  We have talked about that before.  Your work place can change on a daily basis.  Get used to it.  And if you can’t get used to it, don’t be surprised when you are not in the same school, same corporation or same team. Any of these actions could occur by your own choice or the choice of management.

This topic came to light for me, once again following the NFL draft.  A new coach told a disgruntled veteran, who some consider one of the best at his position, prior to the draft, that he will be asked to prove himself to the upcoming new coaching staff. This was not what the player wanted to hear.  Yes, this new coach is trying to win games and will ultimately be fired if does not produce, asking a player to demonstrate his abilities to a new management team.  How dare he?  One must also always remember that to win games on the field, management must win the locker room.  Yes, it all goes back to culture.  You have heard that from me before and I will continue to harp on this point.  I choose to harp because, many principals and coaches that I know have forgotten that point, or perhaps never embraced it to begin with.

Suffice to say, the player described above was traded on draft day.  Kudos to the coach and management and good luck to the player.  I have a funny feeling that in several years this player will be disgruntled again.  Of course, I oversimplified this example.  Playing in the NFL has a great deal to do with who is getting paid.  The players that are the highest paid are supposed to be the best and be on the field.

As a former principal and superintendent, I came into work expecting to give my best and prove myself every day to my board of education and to my team of staff members.  And I know that if I did not have this frame of mind, I would be letting everyone down, especially myself.  And yes, if I expected this of myself, I would expect it of my colleagues and teammates.

It was also my job as the “head coach” to point out to my team when I saw them not proving to me their ability or potential every day.  And I know this is where that I perhaps did not do my best.  Then I would complain to myself or others my displeasure with my staff performance. And the more I think about it, it was not necessarily the performance of each individual that frustrated me, it was their lack of commitment or their lack of effort. It was my job to turn this attitude around or work to find this person a different team.  And upon reflection, perhaps I did not give a championship effort and performance on these facets of my leadership.  I implore you not to make my mistake.

That being said, I wanted to build my team with the “grinders.”  Those people that would come in everyday and give their best effort.  It starts with the hiring process.  Of course, you needed the superstar that could fit in.  That is true not only on a team but in a school or business.  You may have to pass on that superstar that may become a disruptor either on the field or in the locker room. When you hit on the right mixture of grinders and stars, and you can win the locker room, I am confident that you will have a chance for that championship.

Be patient.  Have a plan.  Good luck!

Leadership

Timeout for Leadership-your one-minute leadership idea

Op-ed #20

How thick is your skin?

Fact:

Do you think that you have thick skin or do you really have thick skin?

Today, I present to you above an interesting question and I hope that you have the clarity to answer it truthfully.  I say that because I have found that many people that I have known profess to have a very thick skin and, in all actuality, their skin is paper thin.  And if you have any hope of being that successful school principal or leader, if you do not have a thick skin you better develop one.

I thought of this today because I heard several NFL head coaches speak about their new draftees.  Yes, in this time of a lockdown, for us sports fanatics, the NFL draft provided a bit of an escape.  Of course, everything was over-analyzed to death.  Yet I was able to pick up several important items that all leaders should reflect upon.

Joe Judge, the new head coach of the Giants spoke of his desire to have players that possessed this thick skin that I talk about.  He wants players that he and his staff can “coach hard.”  He went on to speak about before he could draft someone, that person had to have the right demeanor and make-up to be successful on a team that he coaches.  He wanted his new players to basically “keep their head down and improve every day.”

Judge’s players have to embrace the structure of the organization and the hierarchy of the unit.  Each of Judge’s players has to “fall in line” and possess the right level of humility.

It sounds like a speech I would want to give all of my new employees.  It sounds like the old saying, “There is no I in TEAM.”  It sounds so simple. But yet it is so hard to accomplish. 

Come to work every day, do the best that you can do every day, prepare hard, work to improve every day, demonstrate humility, be able to accept hard coaching and KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!  Those teams that accomplish this will have the potential to be champions.  Those teams that cannot, in all likelihood, will never come near the level of a champion.  What team do you want to be on?   Of course, most people will say that they want to be champions.  That is the obvious choice.  But are they willing to pay the physical, mental and emotional price to be a champion?

At the end of the day, I know that I want to be on Joe Judge’s team.