In the age of coaches acting like they’re auditioning for “The League” (see Friday Night Tykes), “The Association,” or “The Bigs,” it’s refreshing to see a coach come along that makes you think, “I want my kid to play for him” or “that’s a leader I’d follow.” One such coach emerged at this year’s Little League World Series (LLWS): David Belisle of the Cumberland, R.I. team.
Like a great leader of an organization, he gave two speeches at two very different times, but both equally hit the mark.
The first came as his team was initially winning their game on Aug. 16, but then fell to a rally and faced being down two runs in their final at-bat of the game. The second came two days later on Aug. 18, where another rally was not meant to be and their LLWS dreams ended.
In an organization there will be times when everything is going right, then a competitor closes in. Or you gave it all you got, but on a certain day, it just wasn’t enough. As a leader, how do you respond to your employees, your team, or your company? Simply, do what Coach Belisle did by following these tips based on some of the themes and sayings in his speeches:
- Strike Self-Doubts: Remember what got you here; you have the skills to not only be here, but to succeed.
- Self-Check: How do you feel? Did you like what just happened? If you don’t like it, do something to change it.
- Stick It Out: The team had three outs left; the game wasn’t over. If there’s still time on the clock, then there’s still time to make a difference.
- Strong Finish: You have the power to make a change; you are in control of what comes next; now let’s do it.
After a Defeat
- No Finish Line Failure: Don’t let the journey be lost at the finish line. Look at what was accomplished up to that point.
- Expression of Appreciation: “I’m proud of you” are words that can lift spirits like no other. Telling your team what their efforts meant to you as their coach/manager/boss lets them know you value their effort and they made a difference.
- Keep it in Perspective: Despite the loss, the team was reminded that they made history getting that far and representing their town. Keep the big picture in mind.
- Future Forecast: Great things are still ahead. The kids had a parade to look forward to, but they also had life lessons on overcoming adversity and working as a team. Going through tough times makes you stronger.
Coach certainly did it the right way. These same tips can work whether you’re leading an executive team of 20, or a group of 12-year-olds who just played their hearts out.