Had a conversation about a soccer team yesterday. No, this isn’t a soccer post–but didn’t the US Men’s National Team have a great win v Italy this week?

The conversation was about coaching, something I can extrapolate to management. It seems a coach took over a group of kids who had played together for about eight years as they entered their senior year of high school. By the end of the year, that collegial group of kids and parents were turned into a bickering, divisive, dysfunctional group of people. A team with great potential fizzled out by the end of the year.

How did this happen? Totally due to leadership. Instead of treating people fairly with respect to discipline, the coach/manager dealt different consequences to different kids for similar offences. Instead of treating each player with respect and placing each in a position to succeed, the coach treated some well and others not.

How do you manage? Do you treat all your reports as adults? Do you place each in a position of responsibility commensurate with their skills, abilities and maturity level–yet with a chance to grow? Do you give people the space to make decisions and learn? Are you encouraging, yet hold them responsible for their actions?

What sort of team are you building?

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