5 Leadership Lessons: Leading Above the Line
Posted: 02 Nov 2015 11:26 PM PSTURBAN MEYER is an elite college football coach and currently the head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. In Above the LineLessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season he presents the lessons he has learned over his career.
Meyer says, “A leader is someone who earns trust, sets a clear standard, and then equips and inspires people to meet that standard.”
Using ideas he received from Tim Kight of Focus3, he set a standard of Above the Line behavior to coaching. Above the Line behavior is conscious and thoughtful. Below the Line behavior is impulsive and reactionary.
“The performance of a team rises or falls on behavior,” Meyer’s writes. “The simple truth is that getting and staying above the line is the foundation of success in anything you do—work, school, football, and life. Every day is a battle for whether we choose to live Above the Line or Below the Line. The choice we make determines how we treat the people we love, how we interact with colleagues at work, how we do our job, how we learn and grow, how we deal with adversity and disappointment, and ultimately what we achieve.”
Ironically, some coaches are so preoccupied with pushing for results that they fail to build a culture that sustains the behavior that produces results. But winning behavior will not thrive in a culture that does not support it.
If your habits don’t reflect your dreams and goals, you can either change your habits or change your dreams and goals.
Do whatever you can to reinforce someone’s confidence by helping him to achieve small victories. So much of leadership comes down to knowing the people you are leading and providing them with what they need to succeed. It is also about making them confident to take risks and make changes.
When things aren’t going right, the most important thing you can do is slow down, go deep, and figure out why. It is very easy in the world we live in to get so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent that we don’t make time to think. There are many distractions that pull leaders away from investing the time necessary to reflect on the issues and challenges facing their organizations.
Leadership is more about trust you have earned than the authority you have been granted. You must earn the right for people to follow you. It is about equipping people with the tools necessary to get and stay Above the Line. It’s about maximizing their talent and their lives. You are stretching people, helping then change and grow. You are taking people to places they never thought they would reach. You are helping them live better lives. Remember, you can’t lead people to a place that you are not going to as well. If it isn’t happening in you, it won’t happen through you.