In light of the NFL's Black Monday with 5 coaches getting the ax before noon, it brought home a great point for me: What type of coach am I?
Everyone in education is a coach...Teachers constantly coach their kids...Principals coach their staff...Administrators coach their schools. Ultimately, coaching is your relationship with people, how you interact/inspire/motivate/lead the people you work with has more to do with your success (in the NFL's case failure) than any other facet of your job...no matter what it is.
So what type of coach are you?
"Old School" - Do you rule with an iron fist? Demand respect because you're in charge? You know this will work so we're going to do this and succeed. Are you so focused on the task at hand that you tend to alienate those that don't follow your lead? Can "My Way or the Highway" coaches succeed in the 21st century?
"Players" - Everyone loves this coach...great person...will always be someone I can talk to. Players (staff) feel at home and comfortable, but, are they working to their full potential? Has complacency set in? Can your staff step up during adverse times? You're a people person but what happens when your people don't perform?
"Figurehead" - Is every decision you make second guessed by those above you on the corporate ladder? Do you need approval before making any decision? Are you really in-charge or are you just the one making the decision public? You speak well, are eloquent and toe the company line...but...are you really in control of the situation? Does your staff believe you're the one making the decisions?
"Emotional" - Do you thrive in a constant hyper-state of emotions? Are you jumping up and down high-fiving...I mean fist-bumping everyone in the building when tests scores are above Standard and maybe dragging your iPad when they fall short? Do you ride that roller-coaster of High's and Low's throughout the year?
"One & Done" - Maybe, just maybe you walked into the wrong situation. Were you ready for the responsibility? Did you do everything you could to better the situation? Good people end up in the wrong situation all the time, can you recognize this and change things before they are changed for you?
Each NFL coach discharged today falls into one of these categories from all that's been discussed, I'll leave it to you to decide which is which. More importantly is where do you fit?
Can you identify you coaching type? Does it fit well with your staff/students? Does it fit well with your leadership team? And the biggest fit of all...does it make your school/classroom the best it can be for your kids?
Coaches and leaders need to be true to themselves first and foremost. To lead you must be genuine, believable and honest or your staff will know it's just an act. Recognize your strengths as well as your weaknesses, know your staff/students and have a vision on what's best for your kids.
The key to successful coaching in the classroom or the boardroom is knowing which of the coaching types you need to apply to get the most out of each of your staff/students. There will be times when you have to be emotional...show your passion...share your enthusiasm. Other times you have to make hard decisions that won't be loved by all but are the right things to do. Be present with your staff/students everyday...get to know them...ask them about their day...build relationships. Do this and your decisions will be easy.
Coaching/Teaching/Leading success hinges on the people you are coaching...your job as a leader is to get the most you can out of each student/staff member each day. Do this and you won't have to worry about Black Monday...or Tuesday...or Wednesday...or Thursday. I can't help you with Black Friday, the retail train is going way to fast to derail.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year