How to Be a Successful Coach

Frank stared intently at me, wanting to see if after three years as a college football coach, assistant to him, I had discovered the secret. Having won two national championships as a head coach, it was clear that Frank had.

‘No,’ I replied, ‘I don’t know what the most important thing is to be a successful coach.’ It felt like one of those landmark moments and I was ready to receive the pearl.

‘Mike,’ he said, his eyes narrowing as he leaned forward. ‘Get the studs. Get the people who can help you win. For all the time you spend coaching and coercing, your life is a thousand times easier if you get the people who can get the job done.’

Exactly as true in business as it is in sports. Get the right people, get the studs. You will save yourself inestimable time, effort and grief by getting the people who are capable and driven to get the job done.

And ‘stud’ doesn’t necessarily mean the best individual performer. You define what stud means in terms of performance, collaboration, behavior and cultural fit.  But once you do, go after the studs with a vengeance. Don’t just recruit. Compete for talent.

You can be the best coach in the world but without strong people you can’t win.

Get the studs.

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