“I’ve never seen a better coach than Gregg Popovich” – Jerry West, NBA Hall of Fame
Since the start of the 1997-98 season, the worst winning percentage for a San Antonio Spurs’ season under Popovich has been .610. How does a coach command such dominance over the top basketball league in the world? Through proper innovation. The Spurs were one of the first teams to identify and exploit the corner 3-pointer. Popovich was also one of the first coaches to rest his players mid-season, even with the threat of being fined.
“It was Pop who once sat Duncan and scribbled the cause of the DNP as, simply, ‘old.’” – Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Senior Writer
Popovich’s influence in the NBA has changed careers and how the game is played. His ability to turn his team into the best is an example for all of us. How can you become a great coach and get your team performing their best? Find out with these three tips.
How Not to Manage
A great way to build up confidence in a team is trust. One way to destroy trust in a team is to micromanage them. 38% of employees would rather do unpleasant activities than sit next to their micromanaging boss. When an employer trusts their employees to do their work it opens up opportunities for creative progression for the company.
Every company is not able to offer “20% time” like Google, but giving space to employees is a key aspect. It cultivates a culture of innovation and creative freedom. When a coach micromanages their team, it’s difficult for the team to develop their own ideas. Instead of a workplace of stagnation and underperformance, create an environment of development and productivity.
Tip: Give your team some space from time to time. They will always need some guidance and direction but they don’t need their hands held. If you are a small business owner or a CEO of a fortune 500 company, it can be difficult to trust employees, but not doing so will do more harm than good.
Check Out: 8 Always Relevant Team Management Posts
Can You Hear Me Now?
For a team to grow it needs to know what is happening. More feedback has become an increasing need in the workplace, and there’s a reason for it. 65% of employees said they wanted more feedback. Every coach needs to let their team know what’s going on. If an employee doesn’t understand what they’re doing is wrong, they’ll keep on doing it.
The same goes for when an employee is doing something right. It not only reaffirms positive actions, it also motivates them to keep doing well. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.
Tip: A simple positive correction or affirmation can go a long way. Sometimes to be a great coach you need to be a good cheerleader. Your team looks up to you, let them know you care about what they do and how they can improve.
Check Out: Incorporating Feedback Into the Daily Grind
Spending Time Wisely
A great coach knows how to not only manage their team correctly but their team’s time. Knowing when to train, when to work and when to encourage are all areas great managers need expertise in. One key aspect of time management as a coach is making sure time isn’t wasted. The average professional wastes 3.8 hours per week on unproductive meetings. Unproductive time ads up in frustration from your team and in turn, damages your bottom line.
How a team communicates can be a black hole for time depending on the approach. 96% of respondents felt they receive unnecessary emails that waste their time. A coach leads by example and isn’t afraid to get up and speak to the team face-to-face when needed to save time. Wasted time can be detrimental to your team’s development and success.
Tip: Avoid any unnecessary time wasters such as unneeded meetings or emails. Value your employees’ time as much as your own. Instead of meeting with the entire team try meeting with only project or team leads. Those that don’t need to be in a meeting can continue to work and read the meeting notes after if necessary.
Putting together the right team is not the easiest, but it’s even more difficult when the coach doesn’t fit the team. Popovich has been the coach of his team for around 20 years and has crafted his team exactly to his style of basketball. Find out which candidate is best for your team and coaching style by having your potential new hires take a personal assessment quiz. Discover who would fit your style and design a better team today!
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