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Issue 301 - Building or Losing A Team

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 301
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



When referring to a Coach who is in danger of being fired the media will sometimes say: "He's lost the locker room."
In business or sports when things aren't going well (bad sales or losing games), it is a challenge for the leader to keep the team positive, improving and maintain their respect.
Here are five basic fundamentals to remember when things "aren't going well" so you don't: "lose the team".
  1. Stay Calm. Coach Wooden put it this way: Anger prevents proper thinking and makes you vulnerable. When you stay calm you'll create a climate of ‘let's find a solution together in which you ally yourself with the team against the common enemy – a mistake.
  2. Don't start pointing fingers. Coach had two thoughts on why pointing fingers is a bad idea: A.) You can make mistakes, but you aren't a failure until you start blaming others for those mistakes. B.) When you blame others, you are trying to excuse yourself. When you make excuses you can't properly evaluate yourself. The coach who starts blaming the players or the boss who starts blaming the employees has taken the first step to losing the team's respect.
  3. Get rid of or change the mindset of the influential troublemakers. In his essay Selecting the Squad, Coach wrote: Be alert for potential trouble makers and get rid of them. An employee or player who is respected because of their skill set but has a negative attitude can undermine the energy of the team. They make everybody worse.
  4. Make sure strong criticism is private, not personal. The coach or boss who calls out a team member in front of their team mates is taking another step to losing the team's respect. In his book with Steve Jamison, Wooden on Leadership, Coach provided this insight: When difficulties arose and strong action—or words—were called for, I made it a policy to criticize in private, not in front of others. The rebuke was done without rancor. I was stern, but I did not get personal—no insults, no berating, no anger, no emotion. When the discussion or action was over, it was all over. We moved on to other business without lingering anger or animosity. I never wanted to embarrass or humiliate.
  5. Keep the focus on day to day improvement, not the scoreboard. Constant reminders of bad results creates the sky is falling mentality and if you think that way it will. Acknowledge improvements and build on them. In time, the scoreboard will be to your liking.
Are you losing your team or building your team?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



For a contented life:

Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning your future.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)






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