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How to Win

Lifting Someone’s Burden

My friend Gary Pritchard, whose coaching specialty is helping build unity on teams, sent this quote from Charles Dickens today.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

Those words capture so much of what coaching should be about. The job of a leader is more than just giving orders or creating wins and losses. It’s about making a difference in lives.

At the school where I coach, headmaster Tom Nammack gathers the coaches for a talk before the school year begins. He always makes it a point to say, “The two hours the child spends with you every day might be the best two hours of his or her day.”
The older I get, the more I appreciate what he is saying. No one has it all, and the one you least suspect — the person who seems to have everything together — could be suffering on the inside.

That’s why leaders should look at those under their care as more than pieces to be placed into a strategic puzzle. They are human beings, who need support, guidance, challenge, fun and meaning.

Coach Pritchard, who is my co-author on “Ten Things Great Coaches Know,” told me another quote that leaders can keep in mind. It goes, “Never let the problem be solved become greater than the person to be loved.”

My friend Dr. Carl McGown, who has coached championship volleyball teams all over the world, has said, “It’s not important whether they love you. What’s important is that you love them.”
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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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