Spring is here, and you know what that means…college football season is just around the corner!
Okay, so maybe March Madness is top of mind for most college sports fans right now, but for die-hard Texas fans like me or sold-out Bama fans like my teammate Lynn, football season is never far from our minds.
Lynn and I both know that out teams are facing some development time in the immediate future. Texas will be adjusting to the leadership of Charlie Strong after over 15 years with Mack Brown. Alabama will be replacing many key starters that have graduated or moved on to the NFL.
Coaches will learn how to coach and motivate new players and figure out who excels in certain positions. Players will learn to hone their strengths and shore up their weaknesses. Individuals will figure out how to work best together as a team.
Mistakes will happen. Adjustments will be made. Games will be lost, and from those losses, lessons will be learned and character will be built.
The problem with this reality is that Alabama fans don’t like to lose. Strike that. Alabama fans HATE to lose. Of course the Texas crowd isn’t too tolerant of losses either, but we’ve become accustomed to them over the past few years. Ha!
High standards are great. However, unreasonably high standards are just as dangerous as standards that are too low. Alabama and Texas fans expect a winning season every season. Some Alabama fans have grown to expect a national championship every season.
Unreasonably high expectations lead us to make rash decisions. A couple losses, and we demand drastic changes. Switch out the quarterbacks. Change the proven strategies. Fire the head coach.
We forget that to win, we must develop.
To build a sustainable winning program in sports or in business, we must recognize that development time is essential, and losing, or making mistakes, is part of the process. When winning is more important that development, our priorities become upside down. Without development, winning cannot be sustained.
We’re already nearly a quarter through 2014. Here are some questions for you to answer.
- What are you doing to develop yourself?
- What are you doing to develop the people around you?
- Are you creating a safe environment where employees are empowered to try new things and learn from their mistakes?
- What are you doing in regards to development that will ensure your team and your organization’s success for the long-term?
- What are you doing to develop your sportsmanship skills?
- And finally, can someone please tell me what the Crimson Tide and an elephant mascot have to do with one another?