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Culture and Teams



While attending a local athletic competition, the home team was losing at halftime. When the game resumed, the home team had a great streak and brought their score up to a nice lead.


I overheard several people around me mention a comment of this nature:


“Looks like coach chewed ‘em out good over the half!”


Whatever the vernacular, the sentiment centered around the idea that the coach must have demonstrated his anger and scolded the team about their lacking performance. And for some reason, this brought glee to the crowd in thinking the team had been punished for playing poorly.


As I heard this, I couldn’t help but think: would any of these crowd members respond well in the circumstances they defined?



If anything, I believe the team demonstrated that their coach during halftime was able to define, articulate and inspire the team in what they could do differently in their actions.


Perhaps some of that instruction had some sting because no one enjoys the activity of reviewing one’s mistakes but my guess is the coach has created an authentic and supportive culture with the team so they also strive to perfect the little things toward excellence.


And that culture was not created by fits of rage, yelling or demoralizing acts of “being chewed out.”


We cannot control the world around us but we can reframe how we define it. If we believe that a bully coach is the needed behavior to win on the field or court, we will apply that same rationale to leading a team at work. And ultimately experiencing disastrous results in the process.


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