A mentor of mine, Coach Scott, grew up in Texas which means that football is embedded in his blood.  He played the center position on his college team and learned everything he could about the game.  Coach holds a special place in my heart for a very important reason that goes beyond his knowledge of the game. He modeled for me the two biggest decisions any great leader is obligated to make for his team:

  1. Who we select to be on our team, and
  2. Who we allow to remain on our team

His teams won… a lot.  He never wavered from these two decisions and his players knew it; we loved him for it and we played our hearts out for him and for each other.  An interesting thing happened; because he had the courage to put all of his knowledge properly behind these two decisions, the team reinforced them even more than he did.  Funny how that works when you set the tone?

Now, think about the best team you’ve ever been a part of. What was it about that team that made it great?  The core of that question is rhetorical; it’s the people, right?  But what specifically was it about those people you remember fondly?

Did they challenge you and make you better?  Do they encourage you and believe in you?  Could you count on each other to keep promises?  When things went south, and they often do, did you help each other?  When someone lost their way, did you candidly discuss the “code” you were required to uphold?  Simple, not easy. 

Look at it from the other side; none of these things happen when we’re part of a team that doesn’t honor those two big decisions.  Many times, we end up leaving that team in search of a team that does.

So, how strong is your team?  Does is pass the sniff test of those two important decisions?  The answer is right in front of us, and we know what action is required to fix it.  The more important question is; do you have the courage that Coach Scott and his teams had?    

Long live the Pioneer