One of my favorite blogs to read is Farnam Street, and last week, the sites founder Shane Parrish posted a 30 minute interview with Michael Lombardi, who currently serves as a coaching assitant for the New England Patriots. The Lombardi interview was the second in a series of interviews titled the "Knowledge Project" which seeks to help listeners acquire "wisdom through interviews with key luminaries from across the globe to gain insights into how they think, live, and connect ideas." Lombardi was chosen to decision making, leadership, and innovation.
Some highlights as quoted by Mike Reiss:
“I think coaching is leadership. It really comes down to the four elements of leadership. Most great coaches have at least three of the four, and they won’t succeed if they don’t,” Lombardi said on the podcast.
“The elements of leadership is management of attention, which means you have a plan. Most coaches have to have a plan.
“The management of meaning is you can explain your plan clearly and concisely and communicate it to the players, to the people you are leading.
“The management [of trust], the players trust you to be consistent within yourself and within the people you’re leading, so that you don’t have double standards. It’s one thing to be a really hard, tough coach, but you have to be hard and tough on everybody. You can’t just pick and choose.
“And then the management of self, which is probably the hardest area -- to be self-critical of when you make a mistake or when you do something that is not effective. You have to be able and honest to be able to say ‘I made a mistake here, I need to correct that.’ When you have those four areas, then you become a better coach.
“I think that’s really the fine line -- coaching and leadership. Coaching is teaching. It isn’t just a separate issue … it’s truly about being a good leader and being a good teacher. If you have those two qualities, you certainly can become a successful head coach.”
All of the key words mentioned coaching, leadership, self management, trust, and attention are mental constructs. They can be developed like physical skills. Successful teams and organizations establish a structure for these concepts to develop and grow.