On my daily trip to McDonalds, my son Bryson asked me which of two local teams was better. My instinct told me the talent level of both teams was similar and the difference would be coaching, not X and O’s, but which coach would do a better job of constructing and cultivating a culture conducive to player development and winning basketball games.
Culture begins with the coach. The coach sets the tone for communication within the group. Is it honest, open, topical and consistent? What is rewarded, punished and tolerated? The players sense this through action as much as words. Thus the actions must match the words.
Culture is founded upon empowerment and results. Once the coach introduces the framework of the culture through word and deed, the players must buy in. The buy in is a two part dynamic of accepting and internally promoting the culture. It’s an investment that conveys ownership of the team to the players in partnership with the coach.
Investors are attracted to success. The buy in is unlikely if the players do not recognise self-improvement and enjoy collective success. It is irresistible if they do.