A couple of weeks ago there was a great interview in the national press with one of the most respected sports coaches in Australia. A man who has a long record of successfully bonding men, guiding them and more often than not achieving their combined goals.
The interviewer asked him directly, ‘What is the secret to your coaching technique?’ Characteristically he rejects the whole concept of him being a master coach with a system for success. The men he coaches play a fierce game demanding courage and pain. Every week, every season.
It was a long article, many column inches, but hidden amongst the analysis was his answer. Well, it was the answer that rang true for me as the measure of a successful leader of men. Another coach who had worked with him for years commented that he ‘genuinely cares for his players’. He almost nailed it, but missed the essential element.
He doesn’t care for ‘players’, he cares for men. His secret strategy is to help them be better men, a strategy he has observed over the years actually makes them better footballers. Some coaches try and turn men in to players, this guy turns players into men and in turn they become better players.
Great coaches turn people into better people, and from that they both gain. Let alone a company, a community, a society and a football team.
Who have you helped to be a better person recently?
Oh, the coach? A bloke named Wayne Bennett. You can google him.