5 Challenges in the Player/Coach Transition

I recently had a great conversation with a group of leaders each making their transition from player to the role of player/coach. These individuals are learning to find the balance between producing and leading, and they shared with me the most surprising and difficult lessons they’re learning in their player/coach season.

  1. Delegation is difficult. “Will it be done as good as the way I’ve done it?” These coaches quickly learned that once they did let go, everything continued to work well. Letting go is hard, but we have to let go to allow ourselves and our teammates the opportunity to grow.
  2. Managing different personalities requires flexing. These player/coaches quickly learned they couldn’t lead everyone the same. Some teammates require more attention. Some just need quick instructions and they’re ready to run. Different people need to be led and
    managed differently.
  3. It’s okay to not have all the answers. At first these leaders felt like they needed to always be ready with the answer. They’re now realizing that it’s okay to have to find out the answer or facilitate a discussion that allows their teammates to think through and learn from the issue rather than always being the person with the answer.
  4. Listening requires concentration. Listening, especially in a fast-paced productive environment, means that we must slow down and really focus on what our teammates
    are saying.
  5. Consistency is essential. We must be consistent with our decisions, our moods and with our coaching. As a player, we might have had our favorite teammates, but as a player/coach, it’s important that we coach and grow everyone on the team.

This week’s REALity Question is one that I have fun asking various groups and teams from time to time.

Who’s more valuable – the leader or the player?

Before you answer, think about it for a minute. If a team is loaded with talented players, does the coach really matter? On the other hand, if you have the league’s best coach leading a team of marginally-skilled players, can the coach really make a difference? (more…)

Isn’t it interesting how so many people want to advance their careers and climb the ladder but few want the not-so-glamorous responsibilities that come with an impressive title, like finishing last?

That’s why I believe that leading others is a calling. Those who think leadership embodies a position, title, or corner office will be a disappointment to the people who have the misfortune of working under them.

When I reflect on the producers I have been blessed to lead, there are five common sacrifices and challenges they have all faced while making the transition from producer to leader. (more…)