Bucket Theory, part 6 of 10

Created for coaches. Applicable to all…

–Coach D.

Step 6: Responsibility, Understanding, Accountability

Responsibility, understanding and accountability:  we want players, on the field and off, to exercise these habits throughout daily life.

And of course, championship-quality leaders are driven and sustained by these three basic characteristics.

Yet although they may be ‘basic,’ this trifecta is actually not commonly exercised with consistency. Coaches and managers alike can easily fall into complacency within their routines. They can slip away from consistency, feeling they’ve already ‘capped out’ on their growth. As if they’ve already seen it, felt it, been through it, and mastered it already.

And this is the wrong attitude; it’s both self-defeating and can lead to a toxic contagion to seep throughout your coaching or management staff, and into the individual players—for whom your goal is developmental excellence.

The truth? We should all, no matter our age or record, continue to grow. Each and every day.

HOW do we exercise these habits with consistency?

Responsibility –be responsible for your everything. No, not just your actions. But also your words. Your attitude. Your body language. The sense of ‘you’ that emits into your environment. Think before you speak. Be calm. And remember, the best fighters are never angry. Maintain composure and confidence, always. And n’er forget your players are watching. Yes, be responsible for your everything.

Understanding –it’s possible to be understanding without being a doormat. Hold firm to your principles. Maintain control. But also, understand. Listen to your coaches and fellow managers. Offer your ear, attention and respect. Allow for (and embrace) the unexpected when it occurs. Don’t just hear words; really listen. And if communications are non-verbal, watch intently, inquire as needed, then address directly, with patience and understanding. There’s no place in coaching, or management of any kind, where belittling, ridicule, apathy or berating remarks are appropriate. Offering earnest understanding where needed, can provide the most life-altering moments within your players’ experience.

Accountability –like it or not, sometimes we have to look in the mirror and accurately assess our reflection. Am I being my best? Am I accountable for my part in the process? And if the honest answer is no, give yourself a swift kick to get back on track. Responsibility is one thing, but accountability is a continual process of measurement. It’s a reality-check to ensure consistency of responsibility and effectiveness. Know your part in the process. Be your own boss to ensure your behaviors match your duty.

Maintaining this trifecta of responsibility, understanding and accountability? They’re the consistent actionable habits of champs. Like you.