By: Jillian Heddaeus, CMP
Athletic Coaches and Business Leaders have several things in common. Generally, they manage teams, carrying out projects, tasks or skills and they have a Coach or Leader to guide them in the direction where they can perform to their highest potential.
Just as the elite coaches of today, business leaders generally have obtained their position through experience and extensive knowledge of their industry. Athletes and employees turn to these individuals to provide them with the “how to” and provide all the answers to success.
It is often said that Business Leaders today have “to do more with less”; less staff, resources and budgets. While many may see this as a hindrance to their team or business; we should remember that some of the greatest leaders over time achieved their success by using what was available to them.
Several fundamental principles of coaching athletics can regularly be applied in the business world to assist leaders in managing employees, projects and their business.
Make the Most of What You Have
Analyze the talent of your staff, their strengths and weaknesses. Use the strengths of team members to assist in the training of others. Overcome weak areas by focusing on projects and drills to strengthen your team. Simply, doing a lot more with less.
Ask and Listen
When your employees ask questions, listen. Listen to the entire question and and avoid jumping into problem solving as well as minimizing their concerns. Remember, they are coming to you for guidance and to learn.
Criticism and Encouragement
As stated by Bela Karolyi, “Criticism and encouragement have to be alternated and used at the right time and in the right situation.” You must adapt your approach to the situation; and there always should be a clear understanding between all team members as to what the “end goal” may be.
Coaching styles vary and no one leader should try to mirror another’s approach. Develop a coaching style that suits your personality. Build upon your coaching style by working with your team and analyze your performance regularly. Are you getting the results you need? If not, take a step back and re-evaluate; are you giving your employees the drills and time they need to succeed?
Coach (Jillian Heddaeus) and Gymnast (Katie Maxwell) of 10+ years.