“It's not enough to simply write up a mission statement or road map and stick it in a drawer. You must reinforce the values on a daily basis, in a way that the individuals in your organization can understand... promote the values in your mission statement by branding the tangibles to give individuals a "sight line" to follow."
From How Good Do You Want To Be? by Nick Saban
Nick Saban is widely regarded as one of the greatest football coaches of all time. Winning national championships at two different schools, not to mention six total championships, supports that claim. This success does not happen by chance, and in this book, written just after his championship at LSU, Saban provides a variety of suggestions on how coaches and leaders can be successful.
Organizational mission statements, coaching philosophies, and core values all serve the purpose of providing focus and direction to an organization and its members. Sometimes, coaches, athletic directors, and others will make them, but as Saban suggests, they ignore them, forget about them, or even fail to adhere to them. Saban and I are in agreement that, 1) they are important, 2) they need to be visible, and 3) they need to be used.
A couple of years ago, I taught a coaching class on how to develop a philosophy and create core values from it. It was a proud moment for me when later that semester I had a meeting with one of my students in her office. She was a personal trainer at the university, and clearly displayed on the wall next to her desk were the core values she had created in my class. Clients could visibly see them, she could be reminded of them daily, and doing so provided she and her clients with the standards and expectations she held to.
So, do you have a mission statement? Do you have a philosophy and/or core values you can clearly articulate? Do your athletes, colleagues, and others in your organization know them? Do you hold your athletes to them?
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