Good Talk, Coach: 3 ways to inspire greatness

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I overheard the half-time huddle at a soccer game this weekend.  The sweaty 11-year-olds were sitting on the grass when their coach gave them two simple pieces of advice:

  1. “Girls, we always play strong in the second half,” he started.  “Let’s go out and do that.”
  2. “Now that we switched sides at the half, our goal is in the shade.  So, let’s try to keep the ball in the shade.  We’ll score more and stay cool.”

“Good talk, coach,” I was thinking as I smirked at his no nonsense style and how we matched the length of his speech to the attention span of his pre-teen audience.

But later, I was thinking of the simplicity of his practical advice.  He did three things that good leaders should do in any environment, whether it be the soccer pitch or in the board room.  He gave them confidence (we always play strong in the back half), he gave them an easy-to-remember strategy to follow (stay in the shade), and he tied it to their own personal objectives (win and stay cool). 

If we could all do this in our own businesses and with our own teams, we would end up winning more often.