Myth #2: “I just don’t have the time to focus on leadership and culture.”

You are overworked and underpaid. You thought you were hired to coach, but in time your job description has shifted. You now find the bulk of your day consumed by recruiting, retention, fundraising, compliance meetings, academic concerns, and paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But what if I told you that investing in leadership and culture was able to add more hours to your day? What if the decision to invest in leadership and culture would actually give you the freedom to focus on the things you enjoy?

Think about this … do you have time to take calls from unhappy parents? Do you have time to suspend players for poor choices off the court? Do you have time for negative press? Do you have time for your players to bypass you and schedule meetings with your Administration? Do you have time for players to transfer? Do you have time for meetings so you can get to the bottom of what happened over the weekend? Do you have time for negative anonymous student-athletes evaluations? Do you have time for drama? No, of course you don’t.

A few years ago I was meeting weekly with my new team captains. It was the spring, our off-season, and each week we met for about an hour to do intentional leadership development. The new captains were a current sophomore and a junior and they were soaking up the idea of being great leaders. That week had seemed uneventful to me, no drama, no complaints, a great week for a coach and I got so much done.

When my two young captains came into the office they shared with me what they had dealt with that week:

  1. They said there were two players who weren’t getting along so the captains met with each player and then the four of them met to resolve some tension. They said things were much better and they felt good about the action they had taken but they planned to follow up with both players in the coming weeks.
  2. They shared that the freshmen were stressed to the max about a Biology midterm so the captains coordinated a study session for them with a senior Biology major. They shared that the young players were really grateful and they felt like their effort had built trust with the young players.
  3. And lastly, they said that one of our sophomores had just gone through a difficult breakup so they had her over for dinner and spent some extra time with her that week. They said she was doing better but that the coaching staff needed to be aware of her that week.

I share that with you to say that it was a great week for me because I didn’t have to put out any of those fires – our players were empowered to do it themselves! I was able to focus on the things that will move our program forward rather than deal with the things that hold us back. 

So how do you want to spend the finite amount of time you have in a day? When you say you don’t have time for leadership and culture that tells me that things are out of balance and your only way out is to invest in leadership and culture so you can get your time back. Do you want to spend your time putting out fires or teaching your players about fire prevention?

Investing in leadership and culture is like owning a magic time machine that gives you hours back each day. And really, who doesn’t want a super awesome magic time machine…