Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Office Game - Part II

Moving forward from where I left,(read COACHING.....THE OFFICE GAME) similar to a coach a manager too needs to deal with different types of team members. Probably certain managers will have to lead much larger teams than most coaches do ever in their careers. However to me the fundamentals remain the same.
A common expectation of a coach is to assist players iron out their technical deficiencies and to be technically correct. According to cambridge dictionary "a coach is someone whose job is to teach people to improve at a sport, skill, or school subject". For instance in cricket the coaches use to work with players on different aspects of the game such as batting, bowling, fielding etc. They work out game plans, keep players fit and strong with scheduled practices etc. Similarly in the game of basket ball the coaches work on different aspect of your game from shooting to dribbling and to going on the offence to your defence. This is the case in almost in all the sports.
However another aspect of coaching has emerged since of late in the sporting arena. That to me has made a profound impact on sports than the fundamental definition of the coach. Take for instance some of recent comments made by Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka about Tom Moody. According to MJ, "Moody brought in something special to us. He made us stretch our selves in to limits which we never thought was possible. He challenged me, he challanged everyone including all the senior players and that helped us to raise our game" The likes of ponting echoed similar sentiments about John Bucanon the Australian coach.
I beleieve this ability to work on players mental aspect is what really differentiated boys from real men. (Like Jim Collins says Good to Great, where good is the enemy of great).The likes of Pete Sampras arguably one of the greatest players in the history of tennis use to talk about the impact of approaching each grandslam final together with the coach. The coach brought about relevant mental platform in to each game. (Infact he won a record 14 grandslam titles in his career).
So what's the similarity with the corporate environment? To start with a manager's role is very much similar. While he is there to iron out and rectify any technical defeciencies of any surbordinate he has a much bigger role to play o the mental side of the person. Similar to the coach working with each player to raise their game everytime and raise the bar as a team a manager too needs to identify competencies of each individual and work on growing him beyond his current role. Different strokes for different folks!
Many a times managers make the cardinal mistake of a task based relationship. However I feel to be a successful manager one needs to work with the individual to stretch him to that individual's capacity limits. Assignments will certainly be a part of it. How many of the manager's work on growing on the mental side of an surbordinate to prepare him for much bigger challenges. Mostly managers are only short term results driven.
Like every great coach a manager needs to learn to work on the background. It is the team players who needs to get highlighted! Well none of you will know who was h coach of Pete Sampras or for that matter it is the Ponting's, Jayasuriya's and Tendulkar's who are in the lime light and not their coaches.
Afterall they know they become much soughtafter after every assignment. And that's how they grow in their roles!

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