The Five Pillars

Change agents determine the problem, set a vision and urgently exercise deliberate action. Athletic programs looking to transform from a perennial loser to a recurring winner requires not one pillar; it requires all five. Coaches must utilize all five of these pillars to realize consistent success.

Leadership and Leadership Development

Leadership follows no set of rules or formulas. It is an elusive concept often considered obscure and ambiguous, but it cannot be mistaken for its value in winning organizations and the development of its people. Teams and organizational success rise and fall with leadership and leadership development. 

Leadership is not innate. It is a learned skill that enables people to look beyond the overt and see what others cannot. They seek out the problems and establish a direct plan to reach a clearly defined and shared vision through a conscious collaborative effort among all team members. It is an ability that shines brightest during the toughest times and gives way to others in victory. 

Leaders influence others by demonstrating an impeccable character, with high moral and ethical standards beyond reproach. Through an intentional and continuous effort, leaders develop interpersonal relationships among their followers. These relationships promote ownership while empowering, motivating, and encouraging others to be the best versions of themselves. 

Consistency and Consistent Communication

The best organizations and teams offer no surprises. It begins and ends with leadership representing an undisguised day to day model reflective of its goals. This consistent approach invades and filters into all accepting organizational members building habitual patterns that strengthen the entire organization or team. 

Communication is more than just an ingredient in organizational and team success; communication is required. However, more importantly, it is the consistency in communication that distinguishes itself from the norm. The language promotes a focused approach to the process while relinquishing the final result’s concern. It is no surprise method endorsing uniformity within the team, offering a consistent message bolstering the team concept, thus, improving the chances of attaining the shared vision.

Elite organizations and teams advocate a consistent approach in actions as well as communication. This exclusive style aims to focus its attention on a series of steps, not the result, to achieve their desired goals. 

Standards

Standards define an organization or team’s principles, values, and beliefs. Each measure is a hardline element that all organizational or team members must adhere to at all times. Team members are held accountable, asked to be selfless, pay strict attention to the smallest of details, exemplify the required high-level discipline, and understand the sacrifices necessary to comply with the organizational standards

Collectively, the organization will conform to chasing perfection in hopes of capturing excellence. It is the collective mindset that permeates an attitude of excellence among all team members, whereas each member will continue to reach beyond their comfort zone. 

The set standards are uncompromisable. The standards ask for and demand everyone aspire to be great, thereby immensely increasing the organization’s opportunities to attain the set goals. 

Right Fit

The most important asset a successful organization possesses is its people. We can take this a step further and say the organization’s most critical asset is the right people – the Right Fit. 

A person determined to be the right fit is required to own a skill set that enables one to execute their job with the given responsibilities, the fundamentals they need to do, and the tactics you needed to participate – all at a championship level. 

Aligned with a physical skillset is the mindset or a person’s character. These qualities include, but are not limited to, mental toughness, self-discipline, and a selfless attitude. It is a person who can focus and refocus, filtering out the distractions, speed bumps, and noise that accompany the day to day chores needed to be successful. 

In the pursuit of excellence, all organizations and teams must make the conscientious and sometimes painstaking effort to search and discover the right fit. It may be the most significant decision a leader will make as the head of an organization or team. 

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is vital to an organization or team’s current success and, more importantly, its future success. To be consistent in moving forward and upward, learning and personal growth is a never-ending journey. Becoming a life-long learner is a requirement in successful people and thriving organizations. 

Those with a growth mindset have a strategy for building the skills needed for the life they want to live. A want-ethic is not the same as a work-ethic. Growth demands action. To grow, one must relinquish the habits that are not in line with the dreams they have, change the mindset, and begin developing new habits promoting an enhanced version of oneself. 

Growth requires a mental toughness that allows a person to fight through personal mistakes, adversity, and discomfort by embracing it and understanding that these are learning opportunities. Productive discomfort is essential, whereas avoiding it eliminates learning and growth. 

Becoming an elite organization or team, members associated must understand the importance of maintaining a personal strategy to improve themselves. The process over results attitude will keep the life-long learner-focused and fueled in their odyssey to become elite. 

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