I came across a letter written to the Edmonton Journal by a youth football player. The headline read Benched and Defeated.
As I read it I felt bad for the kid … nobody deserves to be treated the way he claims to have been treated. Particularly from someone he was relying on to improve his skills – his coach. Unfortunately this happens way to often in youth sports and in business throughout North America.
My guess is this coach treats his / her employees’ the same way as the kid. Gives up on the average or mediocre performers, doesn’t communicate with them, doesn’t include them, doesn’t involve them, doesn’t help them improve their skills and hopes they just quit and go away.
Everyone has a role to play on their team and in their organization – if they didn’t, you’ve got to ask why were they placed there in the first place?
If they need help in performing their role, the coach – leader has a responsibility to help them improve. If there is little or no improvement, the coach – the leader has a responsibility to find a role they can contribute to. Simply said, it’s the leaders job to match up the round pegs with the round holes and the square pegs with the square holes. And exceptional leaders don’t put the team through the agony of watching a teammates self esteem and dignity go in the tank.
Here is what exceptional leaders do;
a. they carefully select the right people to be on the team
b. they put the right people in the right roles the first time
c. they create a team environment for success
d. they find a variety of different ways to develop their people
e. they help their people advance to the next level
f. they are in constant communication about performance
g. they are always looking out for their people
Come on coach … it’s not that hard ! You’ve just got to care – care about your people and care about delivering results for the stakeholders – short and long term – which will come as a result of the contributions of all of those on the team … regardless of their role.