For undergrad, I had the honor and privilege of attending the University of Southern California - Fight On! In addition to my four amazing years in a top business school and fun times in a sorority came a kick-butt football team - the Trojans! During my tenure at USC was also the time that Pete Carroll coached and led the Trojans to four Rose Bowls. Man, was it awesome. In addition to observing Coach Pete on the field in all of his glory, I had the opportunity to learn more about his leadership skills off of the field. In my business school classes, we would watch interview after interview, play after play, dissecting Coach Pete's leadership style.
After watching Pete as a coach and listening to him speak, you can really grasp what kind of leader and person he is. It seems as if he truly leads from the heart using his talents to bring people together and positively motivate them in a way unlike any other coach can. When I think about Coach Pete and leadership, I often find myself comparing leadership technique (as I also did while earning my MBA) to parenting styles. Leadership and parenting are certainly not so different. In fact, I believe they are one in the same.
There are several leadership principles that I could get into, but given this past weekend's football game - Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals, I want to talk about how parents respond to their children's failures and/or mistakes. Sometimes as parents we set high standards for our kids or create boundaries that we hope they will follow. However, sometimes they fall short; they disappoint us in areas we felt that they knew better. In these moments, there is a teaching opportunity that you as a parent are given. The easy thing to do is to react with your emotions; to respond based on the situation at hand; to get mad or upset; to scold. The harder thing to do is to take a step back and to realize how you want to positively impact your child and encourage them in the right direction.
In an Inc.com article titled, "A Lesson In Leadership: 2 Football Coaches, 2 Players' Mistakes, and 2 Very Different Reactions," the author goes into further detail about how Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals responded to similar mistakes that their players had made during the game. The game was a disaster to say the least and in overtime for a chance at either team to redeem themselves, they failed. Both kickers on each team missed essential (and somewhat easy) game-winning field goals.
At the post-game conference both coaches were asked how they felt about the failures of their kickers. Here is what each coach had to say:
COACH ARIANS: Make it. This is professional, this ain't high school, baby. You get paid to make it.
COACH PETE: [Hauschka] made his kicks to give us a chance and unfortunately he didn't make the last one. He's been making kicks for years around here ... but he's gonna hit a lot of winners as we go down the road here.
I love him and he's our guy.
As I read this article, I couldn't help but think what parent I wanted and hoped to be for my child's sake. I encourage you as parents to think about the person you want to be and the example you want to set for your children. Do we want to build our children up or do we want to hold them down? Do we want to respond negatively or assure them with positive reinforcement? Before reacting to your child's failure, pause for a few minutes, see the positive and reflect on how you can encouragingly move them in the right direction.
Click to view the entire article here.