By: John Klessinger, Head Wrestling Coach - South River HS (MD)
Recently, I made a talk to some fellow educators on culture in sport. I aimed to provide the audience with the methods to build a culture that I have found successful. I prepared for a crowd of youthful teachers and coaches whom I could share my beliefs and philosophies about coaching. I was hoping to offer them strategies and tips to use with their students or athletes. However, it was not the case. Each of the persons in attendance was not new to the profession. I was met with an experienced group of educators, administrators, and employees of the school system. Thus, my plan of "enlightening" people with over twenty years of teaching and coaching wisdom became more of a workshop on what I've found to be effective over the years. The discussion was minimal, and fortunately, I had more than enough information planned to talk for days if the room would allow. Creating a culture is a topic for an entire book. In no way can I bring it its due diligence in one short blog post. Therefore, I am going to share my key points on developing and sustaining a winning culture. While this presentation was designed for mainly coaches, it applies to the classroom, business, management, or any organization with the ultimate goal being having people "bought in" to the organization's mission, goals, and standards while cooperating and sharing similar attitudes.
Before I get into what we can do to create and sustain a winning culture, I am going to tell you what it is not.
Culture is not:
Creating and Sustaining a Winning Culture is:
Expectations and Accountability
Growth as a Coach
Growing Your Team
Motivating Your People
Being a Good Teammate
Sustaining a Winning Culture
Early on in my teaching and coaching career, I struggled with many things. With time and experience and a tremendous amount of trial and error, I figured out an efficient way of managing the groups that I led. It is always a work in progress, and I will never become a "master" in my profession. If I did, I do not believe I would be an effective leader. We need to change, grow, and learn continually. We expect that from our athletes, employees, and children. If we want others to follow us, we need to set the example first. Then, we help our people do the same. That is leadership. That is creating and sustaining a winning culture.