Over the next three weeks, I am going to write about alignment.
This week I am starting with personal alignment. This is when your beliefs and values are in alignment with your actions.
This is also known as integrity.
What does it look like to be misaligned?
There is the obvious misalignment of a coach talking to his players about character and then getting caught breaking NCAA rules. However, I have found that subtle misalignment is way more prevalent.
This looks like a coach talking about respecting teammates and then turning around and treating her assistants with disrespect.
Or the coach talking about performing under pressure and then losing it during a close game.
And lastly, a head coach gets offended or angry at an assistant. Instead of running to the tension and addressing the issue (in a healthy way), he says “it is no big deal”. But inside he is angry. This is not what we think of when we think of a lack of integrity, but it is. His internal beliefs do not align with his external actions.
In many cases, the people in the program can’t even put a finger on this misalignment, but they sense it and feel it. These ‘little’ instances of misalignment will slowly erode trust in your program.
How To Combat Misalignment
It is important that leaders have self-awareness in this area. This can be tough, but there must be an attempt to see clearly any misalignment.
It is also important that you have someone who can see when/if you get misaligned and has the freedom and safety to point it out.
Leaders too often get ‘isolated’. They don’t have anyone who feels comfortable bringing misalignment up. I would guess that most coaches/leaders don’t think they will get to a point where they become misaligned. My experience says that it is not if but when!
Get truth-tellers around you and empower them to speak up when you get misaligned.