The Tale Of A Coach's Son

"The most difficult thing I do is getting them ready to play each week." Vince Lombardi.

My father, Charles Moore, was a coach and leader.  He raised me, taught me and prepared me to become a coach and teacher. I grew up in his coaching office watching game film, on the practice field and in the locker room. I spent time with him learning to game plan and plan practices to prepare athletes to execute his plans. I watched him prepare his players to perform and was on the sidelines and heard the in-game coaching,  halftime adjustments and post game speeches which were always to get them ready again. Then I spent time listening to other coaches exchange ideas and heard coaches speak at coaching clinics. I am a coach's son, raised to be a coach and thankful for the lessons I learned.

The last time I spoke to legendary Major League Baseball Manager and family friend, Bobby Cox, he reminded me that I was doing what my father raised me to do...In business, rather than in sports.

My father exposed me to many of the great coaches of the past 50 years and I learned from all of them. Coaches like Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, Tom Landry, Red Auerbauch,  Don Shula, Chuck Knoll. Then I began to study coaches like Bill Walsh, Bill Belichick, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Cox, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlinson, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh. The one who influenced me the most after my father, was in my opinion the greatest coach of all time...John Wooden.

My Dad spent my childhood, teenage years and early adult life preparing me and helping me refine my coaching insights and skills. He and I talked for hours on end about how to apply what we both knew about coaching to business leadership and management. We found that all he had taught me applied to coaching, executive leadership, sales management and salespeople. In addition, I learned something from every coach I ever played for, every person I ever worked for and every client I every consulted with or trained...Every single one of them!

I found that life and business was a performing art, just like sports. I also learned that people performed best when 'coached up' by a leader. I believe that sports are important to society not because of who wins or loses but because of the lessons we can learn about peak performance, coaching, teamwork and leadership. Don't get me wrong, winning makes playing the game more fun, just as achievements make life more fun, and coaching and leadership is about preparing people to have more fun!

After using all I had learned to lead, coach and manage people, I began writing, speaking, teaching and training about what I had learned that would help others prepare to perform to their peak to produce their best results. 

I was blessed in 1996 to have John Wooden take the time to meet with me. We spent hours discussing coaching, leadership and teaching. John graciously spent those hours at his home in Encino, California where we shared ideas about how leaders should view winning, losing, relationships and life. He opened up and shared his wisdom and insights and patiently answered all my questions. I lost my father, Charles Moore, in 1992 and John in 2010. I miss them both and feel very fortunate to have called them my mentors and coaches...I love them both.

Their influence and impact on me, and many others is their legacy and the reason they will never be forgotten. The lessons I learned from my father, John Wooden and the other great coaches have served me well and helped me serve others.

Now, I am teaching leaders, managers and coaches how to build businesses, teams and individuals that produce their best results. The following are some of the high points I teach in my 'Locker Room Leadership' seminars and coaching sessions.
  1. Great leadership, coaching, teaching and managing is an act of will.
  2. Leadership is something you do with people, not to them.
  3. If you stop learning you'll stop leading.
  4. In a locker room, boardroom, sales office or any group, if you pay attention, you can hear and feel the attitudes of the people.
  5. If you pay attention you can tell if people are ready to perform.
  6. Peak performance is a Spirit (Attitude), Mind (Knowledge and Skill) and Body (Actions) experience...To win in sports, business and life, they have to always be in that order.
  7. Leaders don't worry about averages or excellence they raise the standards...The lowest form of behavior that's acceptable.
  8. Who you are as a coach or leader is the lowest form of behavior you except...It's not your average or top people's performance but your lowest producing performers...That's who you are as a leader.
  9. Winning coaches spend time with the people they least want to engage...The people who need to improve the most.
  10. Leaders assign, monitor and teach to generate improvement.
  11. Leaders manage the atmosphere...the air! They do this by managing attitudes because attitudes create behavior that results in winning.
  12. Leaders inspire, motivate and hold people accountable to be their best.
  13. Leaders challenge people to change their average thinking, so they can grow and improve.
  14. Leadership skills can be taught, learned and improved but need insight, intuition and a personal touch to become most effective.
  15. Great leaders love people...That's where their insight, intuition and personal touch comes from.
  16. Most managers and coaches sabotage the results they want by trying to manage the results.
  17. When you manage results you’re too late to lead.
  18. Results, the score and winning, can’t be managed. Winning comes from preparing the spirit, mind and body.
  19. Results, the score and winning come from the intentions, attitudes, skills and actions that were present long before the results.
  20. Intentions, attitudes, behavior and skills can be taught and managed through the discipline of preparation.
  21. Winning will take care of itself when leaders manage the things that create the score.
  22. Leaders lift people to accomplish beyond their own expectations through preparation.
  23. Never forget that your standards define who you are as a coach or leader.
  24. Leaders never compromise their standards, instead they use them to teach, motivate and inspire.
  25. Leadership is about people first but no one person is more important than the team.
  26. Treating everyone the same is the fastest way to show favoritism.
  27. It takes courage to treat each person the way they deserve to be treated…The way that's best for them.
  28. Leader’s help people grow and become their best by working with them, to get them to do the things they don’t want to do, that will create the results they both want.
  29. Leaders manage people’s intentions, attitudes and dominant thoughts that create the behavior that produces the results.
  30. Leaders pay attention and listen to manage the atmosphere by managing the attitudes and state-of-mind of people.
  31. Great leaders get uncommon results from common people by requiring them do the work to become uncommonly prepared.
  32. In the absence of leadership, mediocrity will lead and failure is assured.
  33. You won't know how good a job you've done until you see how the people you've led, mentored and coached turn out...Sometimes that takes years.
 By Mike Moore

Leaders Are Impatient & Unrealistic

Leaders believe things can be done more quickly and that more is always possible. They understand there are limits but are always looking for ways to exceed them. They see obstacles as a sign they are on the right path to accomplish significant results because obstacles stand between mediocrity and their destination.

This often makes them hard to deal with if they aren't servant leaders who realize people come before results, because people produce the results.

Being decisive and taking action are key traits of these top leaders. They don't wait for the perfect plan because they know it doesn't exist. Instead, they are flexible so they can take actions to implement their plans and perfect them as they go along. This produces positive results while others are working to perfect their plan. It also creates a culture of change, adaptation and flexibility within the people in the organization they lead. In addition, it provides the opportunity to coach, teach and train people as they implement and adjust their plan.

These top leaders aren't quick to make decisions because they are rash or rush to judgement. It's because they are always paying attention, have a vision, purpose and mission that drives where they are going. This helps give them understanding, insight and intuition that enables them to be decisive and take action.

They adjust as they go because they are confident enough in where they are going so their ego doesn't get in the way. This allows them to be flexible by not worrying about being right, but instead, focusing on doing what's best to get where they are headed.

So, leaders know where they're going, pay attention and make decisions with ease. They challenge their followers to the point that they are often seen as unrealistic and impatient but these traits serve to produce superior results.

By Mike Moore