Oops … I Did It … Again!
Saturday I had a chance to watch my girlfriend’s 12 year old daughter Ally play club volley ball.
They won their first match pretty quickly and then moved onto the next.
It was during this second match that I watched the negative affects that poor leadership has on a team.
During the second game, the other team started making mistakes. That’s when their coach started yelling and screaming.
It was just a matter of time before they came undone and lost. Obviously the coach’s screaming had a negative effect on them. Gheez they’re only 12 years old what did he think was going to happen?
After the game we walked out into the lobby and that’s when things got ugly.
Sitting in the center of the floor between the exits and the bathrooms for everyone to see was this same coach grandstanding in public. There he was towering over his team as they sat on the floor in front of him like indentured servants. Obviously he needed them sitting because he himself was only about 5′ 5″ tall and getting shorter by the minute.
He stood there yelling, berating, and shaming them in public for everyone to see … “and if you want me to give you names I will.” (I’m sure that will help)
People were walking by and staring, the parents stood there and didn’t say a word. One of the girls on the floor looked up at me and I smiled at her … Okay I’ve seen enough … is anyone gonna take a stand for these kids?”
Hey wait a minute! I speak and coach on Leadership, maybe I should share a few thoughts on the topic to help him out.
WHAT A GREAT IDEA!
He finally stopped … and then I stepped in.
I thought this would be a good time to share a few quick lessons on Leadership …
Lesson #1 – Be Polite But Speak The Truth – I asked him if he was finished and then I shared with him my truth … I told him he was a jackass, actually I called him something else that started with an A ended with an E and had 2 S’s, an H, an O, and an L in between … sometime it’s best to speak your truth right up front!
Lesson #2 – State The Facts – I explained to him exactly what kind’ve of a coach/leader I thought he was … I made sure that he knew that berating and humiliating 12 and 13 year old girls wasn’t a good example of great leadership.
Lesson #3 – Provide Solutions – I explained to him that the next time he wanted to humiliate someone he should probably find a less public space … I recommended the men’s room as a good alternative … BY HIMSELF!
Lesson # 4 – Clarify & Repeat – Sometimes it’s best to repeat yourself … repetition is a good way for people to learn and a good way to clarify your message. I restated what I thought about him as a leader … yes I repeated the long A word just so there wasn’t any confusion or miscommunication.
And that got me thinking about what authentic leaders do ……
- Build people up – they don’t tear people down … especially when they’re already down (the girls already felt bad they knew they didn’t play to their potential)
- Care for people – they don’t use them to make themselves look bigger (taller) … especially in public!
- Are other-centered – they realize that it’s about their people and not about them (the coach thought it was all about him … if he didn’t he wouldn’t have done what he did or where he did it).
It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 17, or 70 … never ever let someone humiliate, shame, or berate you.
You don’t deserve it and you don’t have to tolerate it … you deserve more just because you are who you are.
And who you are doesn’t change because you win or lose a game … you’re still extraordinary!
And last … the next time you see someone bullying someone else … please don’t just stand there … DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!