What Coaches Can Learn from the C-Suite

written by Erica Quam

In the business world, 'the C-Suite' refers to the CEO's, CFO's, COO's...and all the chief <fill-in-the blank> officers within an organization. All these three letter acronyms (TLA's for short) may sound like foreign business jargon to people within athletics. These two worlds may SEEM very different. However, there are well-established practices within the business world that athletics can tap into to create better teams.

Here are 5 systems Google has implemented to create a great team culture:

1.  Exchange feedback regularly

Instead of saving performance reviews until the very end of the season, take the time to give and receive more regular feedback within your coaching staff - every 4 to 6 weeks. Once you say you want to do this, actually schedule it.

Implement a simple structure for these meetings to take place. Know what you'll talk about and how long the meeting will be. This makes feedback (both positive and constructive) easier for everyone. This transparency will lead to better overall communication. It'll help keep people accountable, which keeps them more motivated, and will actually give them an opportunity to make positive changes - in the moment!

2.  Support the growth and dreams of your staff

I believe continual growth is necessary for coaches to stay engaged, inspired, and passionate about what they do. Make room to focus on what you enjoy the most and find out what that looks like for your other coaches. If you can help support their dreams they will help grow your team. Sure - there are always things on the to-do list that just have to get done. See how can you divide those up & fully utilize all of your resources - so each person on your staff can spend more of their time & energy on their "genius work".

3.  Coaches off-site

Companies do what they call "off-site" meetings and events to connect and collaborate away from the office. Why don't more coaches do this??? There's a lot you can learn from getting out of your normal routine and away from your work environment - especially heading into a different phase of your season. It can be simple and powerful for everyone to get on the same page as a unified team. I call it taking a time-out from working IN your team to work ON your team. 

4.  Have a mission & live it

The characteristic that I swear by is living the mission every day. Oftentimes, people join your team because they recognize you're doing something different. You’re doing something the way no one has done it before or in a way that resonates with people. Have you taken the time to define what that mission is? If not, how can you keep your core focus during the ups and downs of the season and stay committed to living it everyday? As a team, take time to define your mission together. Maybe this can be where you start with your first coaches offsite!

5.  Mastermind groups

People in the business world participate in "Mastermind Groups".  These groups help you "realign" yourself so you don't fall back into old mindsets, habits, ruts, and distractions. Masterminds meet regularly because it's easy to get out of alignment. Structure and accountability can help you bring things back around.  

There’s a caveat. “You can’t rub a bunch of unfocused people together and get focus.”  If we're left to our own devices, we can convince ourselves of anything. That's why you need to be in a group that has the structure, awareness, and guidelines to propel you forward - rather than getting even more stuck in collusion and storytelling. A great mastermind group comes with training. Each person aligns with the system and knows how to positively support each other.

Which of these five things can you implement to help create a great team culture? Do you have any insight or ah-ha's you got from reading this? Share 'em below!