Leadership lessons from Mom: be your team’s superfan

15 May

Photo May 14, 6 45 08 PM

Baseball games. Basketball games. Football games. Volleyball games. Home or away…Mom was always there. What I learned from her perseverance to make each game is shaping my leadership today.

Everyone wants to know that their work or performance matters. My Mom was my superfan and there are three lessons I think about with my own team, at work and at home:

Go crazy over successes

Just quickly, success doesn’t always mean winning. Sometimes it was stretching a single into a double. Mom loved to cheer and shout at our games. Big hugs and a hoarse voice were common by the end of most games. As leader, don’t miss the opportunities to say thank and recognize hard work. Whether someone is “just doing their job” or not, “superfan”-type bosses notice. They notice the little things. They notice the extra effort. They notice the teamwork. And they acknowledge it every chance they get.

Be heartbroken, supportive, and inspiring with struggles

To the previous point, seeing people work hard and challenge themselves, but come up just short is difficult. Every parent wants their kid to get picked for the traveling team or  the choir or whatever.But if I heard it once from my mom, I heard it one hundred times, “…it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game…”. The important point is to focus on growth and learning. Leaders help their team’s understand every interaction is a chance to get a little better. Often times we really need to know someone is on our side, regardless of the outcome.

Quietly correct

But then there are sometimes where we need direct  talk to get our heads screwed on straight. Mom did that well, but always in private and always with the focus of learning. Leaders need to learn this too. The best quote again comes from an article on Jim Harbaugh during his time as coach of the 49’s – “Celebrate in public, correct in private”.

So to all of the moms, our superfans,I hope you had an amazing mother’s day.

To my mom, thank you for being there for me..every time.

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Box Breathing – by John Turner

Owning up to Your Ignorance by Saying “I Don’t Know” – by Farnam Street Blog

People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently. – by Nir Eyal

Be Outrageous, Choose to Grow. – by Mich Bondesio

4 Things Great Bosses Say to a New Employee That Most Bosses Never Think to Say – by Jeff Haden

all the best, kevin

One thought on “Leadership lessons from Mom: be your team’s superfan

  1. Thanks Kev! Love you! Thank you to you and your sisters for taking Dad and I on the best ride of our lives with all your sports and activities and adventures! We cherish every minute!

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