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Being The Very Best

Alan Andersen


Many sports media "experts" label Seattle Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll a "players coach". What is rarely discussed is why Coach Carroll get's this label.

Bottom line, Pete thinks differently.  

Okay, Alan, so what does that mean? 

Coach Carroll believes that his primary job is to help his people (players, coaches, staff, etc) be the very they can be. In other words, he rarely ever talks about winning. What he does focus on (and talk at length about) is being healthy, practicing healthy competition and performing at one's highest possible level!

What! Are you kidding me, 'He doesn't talk about winning!?'. Come on, his whole job is to win. Period. Lights out. Game over. And yet... Coach Carroll doesn't talk about winning BUT the Seattle Seahawks do indeed win.

At this point, I hope you're saying 'Tell Me More!'  

What is utterly profound and counter-intuitive about this philosophy is that it empowers Coach Carroll to make the main thing the main thing. Instead of getting caught in the weeds.

I'll restate this concept in vocational terms.  When we're working with a prospect client it is typical to hear the prospect organization or team say that they want what we call (internally) "The 3 P's". Namely...

  • Increased Profits
  • Better Performance
  • Greater Productivity 

This is completely understandable. In fact, at Shandel Group, we want that for our firm too!

However, what is usually forgotten is that "The 3 P's" are a byproduct of organizational health. Instead of a "magic training session" or "silver bullet conflict resolution" that fixes everything, what is needed is a healthy leadership mindset that focuses on "the main thing". 

"The main thing" will vary between department or organization, but what is consistent across the board is that leadership must engage and motivate their people to be the best that they can be. When you begin regularly empowering your employees then you will be on the right track toward enjoying the reward of "The 3 P's".

Fine, Alan, I get it. You're saying that I need to remember how Cause and Effect works.

That is precisely the first step. The second step is equipping your people to understand the same concept so that everyone is in alignment and working in tandem. Like Pete Carroll, you too can build and maintain a culture of high-performers that are healthy and want your organization to do well because they themselves are doing well.

What if I don't know where to start? 

I'll share 4 practices to help you jump-start your people to be their best selves

1. Lead by Example.

If you or your leadership are not modeling the culture you want in your organization then you might as well throw in the towel or better yet change. Remember, practice what you preach because your employees are a reflection of you and your leadership.

2. Foster a Growth Mindset.

If you don't know how to do this, call us ASAP, buy the book Mindset by Carol Dweck or better yet, do both.

3. Maintain clear lines of Communication.

Verify that everyone single employee, from entry-level staff to the C-Suite, is regularly and honestly communicating with an open mind.

4. Invest in People Development.

I recently had a conversation with a CEO who shared what the guest speaker of his executive business networking group shared. A recent study reflected on Millennial work patterns and found the average job tenure of a Millennial is around 14 months. Now regardless of how accurate that particular stat is, it accurately shows the hunger employees have to be personally and professionally aligned with the organization they are employed by. Investing in people development will help you learn what your employees care about and assist in their overall health. 

We have found, time and time again, that when you focus on overall personal and professional health, you will begin succeeding. Success, and winning for that matter, are a byproduct of right priorities. If you're still reading this, let's commit to keeping Coach Carroll's philosophy top of mind:

It's about being the very best you can be.

If you want to learn more about Pete Carroll's philosophy on life and coaching, check out this great interview on the Finding Mastery podcast.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen



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