The Mindset Of Great Leaders

Some leaders bemoan a lack of resources and others just become resourceful. Some use their limits to be more innovative and others use limits as an excuse why they can’t succeed.

The best way to go from complaining about a lack of resources to being resourceful is to reframe the issue.

Instead of asking “How are we supposed to compete, we don’t have the resources like University of ________?”

Ask “How can we grow and improve this week/month?”

The first question keeps your focus on what you don’t have. The second question gets you thinking forward and what you can create.

Some leaders complain about a problem and others see problems as a great opportunity. Some leaders use a lack of resources for a chance to be innovative and others use a lack of resources for an excuse.

During these trying times in 2020, instead of complaining about the season being pushed back or canceled, a reduced budget, or a loss of practice time, change your perspective and look for ways to leverage this time for the betterment of your program.

As a leader, people are watching you. Your staff, athletes and support staff are mentally taking notes (probably subconsciously) on how you respond, your energy level, creativity, innovation, and attitude. Ask better questions and change your perspective to move forward as opposed to being stuck in neutral or going backward.

We often look at leaders and programs when they are at the pinnacle or at least near the top. We look when the leader has won championships and the program has a great budget and facilities. We look and compare when they are at their best and we are at our worst. What we don’t see is the background of how that coach built his/her program.

There are so many examples of coaches who were creative, innovative, and persistent. The follow are just a sample of coaches who reframed their issues and opportunties as opposed to road blocks.

This list consists of those who had, or currently have, visible jobs. But I can promise you there are hundreds of coaches who were and are innovative, persistent, and creative whom you or I have never heard about. The more notable, well-known names: Bill Snyder, Geno Auriemma, Carol Hutchins, Tim Corbin, Howard Schnellenberger, Brad Stevens, Patty Gasso, Keith Guttin, Becky Burleigh, Gene Stephenson, Mark Few, Margie Wright, Tim Ward, Gayle Blevins, Anson Dorrance, and many many more.

Quick Side Note: If you read the above list and recognized a name and thought “Well of course he/she had success, that school had great potential” you are falling prey to hindsight bias.

Instead of falling into the trap of finding reasons you aren’t able to grow your program, reframe the issue and find ways to overcome.

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Travis Wyckoff

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