The Head Coach Manager's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘humility

Have fun with your direct reports.

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Who made the rule that leaders and directs could not have fun together? Whoever it was, was wrong and they missed a great opportunity to become an even better leader.  My experience as a leader has helped me to see how valuable it is to have fun with your directs.  Obviously there are boundaries that cannot be crossed but those are clearer than you might think.

My experience as a leader has helped me to see how valuable it is to have fun with your directs

First, get to know your directs and what they like.  It is difficult to have fun with someone if you do not know what they like.  I make it a priority as a leader to learn something that is unique about each one of my directs.  For example, I have one direct who is coaching soccer for school aged children.  This small detail helps to build credibility for our relationship and makes it easy for us to have a relationship and be able to have fun.

Second, laugh out loud and laugh often.  I am convinced that laughter can break barriers.  There is a power in a good loud laugh.  Furthermore, a laugh is contagious and it brings people together.  As a leader, I make it a top priority to laugh at and laugh with my directs.  When a direct sees you laughing out load it shows them that you are a real person and that you are more than just a leader in a suit.  In addition to laughing out loud, make sure that it is often.  The more often the better.  Your directs will appreciate you for it and it will help you build up your team.

Finally, whistle while you work.  Literally.  If you sing, sing.  If you hum, hum.  Just make sure that you’re enjoying music with your directs while you work.  Just like laughter, music has the power to connect you to your directs in a special way.  The best piece about this part is that when followed in reverse it could help you achieve your other goals.  For example, I am a terrible singer, but I enjoy dropping a lyric or two at work and it brings out a laugh from my directs, which then causes me to laugh.  It is also a great conversation piece and it opens up dialogue between you and your direct.  Do not be afraid to ask them what kind of music they like, and when they do not expect it, surprise them with a lyric from their favorite song.

If you sing, sing. If you hum, hum.

In closing, a few boundaries that are obvious.  Remain professional.  Guard your relationship and do not allow the line of leader-direct to get blurred.  Be genuine.  Most importantly, have fun!

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Can a strong leader also have fun?

Have you ever had a leader that made work fun? What about a leader that made work not fun?

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It’s easy to have fun when you assume positive intent.  Learn about positive intent by checking out the article Assume Positive Intent.

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Written by theheadcoachmanager

March 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Have a Humble Confidence

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Those that know me personally would tell you that I do not have a confidence problem.  Those that know me personally would also tell you that I am a humble person.  I am convinced that a successful leader must have a Humble Confidence.

My company does not pay me to be an average Store Manager.  They pay me to be the best Store Manager.  In order for me to be the best Store Manager, I have to believe that I am the best Store Manager.  I have to have confidence in my self and in my ability to do the job.  Yet in the mist of that confidence, I remain humble because I know that others around me are doing their part to help me be successful.  I realize that in order for me to be the best Store Manager I need the help of my leaders, my peers, and my directs.  I also believe that there is a God that has blessed me with so much and that it is because of His gifts that I am able to be successful.  That is how I am able to have a Humble Confidence. 

So how can you develop a Humble Confidence and become a better leader?

Being the best is more than just saying that you are the best.  The confidence in a Humble Confidence comes from working harder than others, working more efficiently than others, and producing superior results compared to others.  This kind of confidence comes from a job well done.   You do not want to become the arrogant jerk that no one likes because he or she spends their time talking about how much better they are and yet, their results are on par with the results of others.  When others see you working hard, more efficiently, and producing superior results then they will help to boost your confidence by recognizing your performance.  Your peers will recognize your contributions, your directs will admire your work, and your leader will help you get promoted.  You will be happier and more confident because you worked to have that level of success.

Here is the secret formula.  When you become the best and others recognize your level of performance, then they will work harder for you; because they want to increase their level of performance to match yours.  Your directs and peers will want to do a better job because you are setting a higher standard.  Your leader will work hard for you because they see you working hard for them.  Your hard work creates an up-down-all around phenomena of superior performance.  That is when you are humbled because you realize that you are merely a piece of the puzzle that led to this success.  When everyone is working together, and when everyone elevates their performance good things happen.  Humble yourself and realize that you are where you are because of what others did, not because of what you did.

A leader that has a Humble Confidence is admired, and respected.  Humility is a good thing on its own, and confidence is good on its own.  When the two come together in a leader’s life good things happen and teams are successful.  Lou Holtz tells the story about when he was the Head Coach at North Carolina State University.  He was asked if he thought he was the best college coach in America, and he responded “No.” He was being humble and did not want to be perceived as arrogant.  What he did not realize at the time was that he was letting his staff down, his players down, and his school down by not having the confidence to say that he was the best.  North Carolina State University was paying Lou Holtz to be the best college coach in America and it was up to him to decide that he was going to be the  best college coach in America and to have the confidence to say it.

Written by theheadcoachmanager

January 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm