Why..why matters to athletic leaders and teams

This great and thought-provoking poem by our beloved Dr. Seuss about The Sneetches peeked my curiosity. Why did he pen it? What's your reaction to what Seuss meant by this. If you care to, let me know. The why does matter!

So, what a coincidence! I reread Simon Sinek’s amazing book, “Start with Why” and no sooner had I finished there was an article in the NY Times July 4th weekend, entitled, “The Power of Why? And What If?”. So you ask, why does this matter at all, especially to you?

Well, for quite some time I have explored the building blocks for great leaders. Much has been written about confidence, flexibility, listening, decisiveness, conflict resolution, and so on. So, how do great leaders inspire their teams? Is it their ideas about how to get certain things done and actually what it is they’ll do? Not sure that’s what I’m now uncovering.

Apple makes iPhones and iPads and so on. That’s what they do and continue to do. Yet, where it all started was their “why”, so aptly put by Steve Jobs, we “think differently”. That belief system permeated Apple and still does. How they do it and what they do are clearly in alignment with this belief. And the rest is history; the consumer followed.

So the next time you have a team meeting or are stuck on something, ask yourself or your team members, “what’s our why?” It’s these type of questions that will reveal the sole of your team members, what they really value and this will lead to their how and what.

All team members are leaders. Team success is a reflection of what they value. Great teams and organizations continue greatness by believing in something that is etched deep inside. A feeling of belonging or often said by Simon, “The Circle of Safety”.

It’s the questions we ask, not just our solutions that produce short and long term team success. Questions enlighten us, empower us and beg for increased awareness around how we perceive and think about things, either on or off the field, or long after the college careers.