Think back to the last time you said, “Because I said so, that’s why.”
For me, it was yesterday. I was talking to my daughter. Technically, I think I said, “Because I’m big and your small, and that’s why,” but I made my point (That’s a little saying my sister-in-law taught me).
Outside of speaking to young children, though, I’m confident this approach is not best. John Wooden, famed UCLA basketball coach, one of the best of all time, states the importance of not only stating WHAT is required of his players, but, more importantly, stating WHY it is required.
Here are some examples of WHAT Wooden’s players were required to do, and WHY they were required to do so:
- Learn how to properly put on socks/tie shoes – To eliminate blisters and untied shoes, which lead to a disruption in performance.
- Tuck in their jerseys, even during practice – To emphasize that sloppiness is not acceptable in any domain.
- Acknowledge the player assist when scoring a basket – To acknowledge the importance of teamwork, and that no man is an island. “The star of the team is the team.”
- Eliminate chocolate from the locker room – Chocolate creates phlegm. Phlegm creates a distraction during play. Distractions are no good.
As you carry on in your leadership role, as a boss, coach, teacher, parent, human being, remember to not only state WHAT is required, but WHY it is required as well.
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