Bob Boyd, the former University of Southern California basketball coach, and Jimbo Fisher, the current Florida State University football coach, both had insightful comments on coaching that may be beneficial for leaders.
Boyd taught coaches at clinics that, “it’s not what you teach; it’s what you emphasize.” We’d like our teams to be good at everything, but you only have so much practice time. Therefore, it is important to ascertain the most important things that will lead to winning and then make those concepts the main points of emphasis.
At St. Francis, we felt the most important things that led to success were the fundamentals. So, balance, footwork, passing, dribbling, shooting and the defensive fundamentals became the cornerstones of our basketball program. We felt if we emphasized the fundamentals, the offenses and defenses would fall into place.
Jimbo Fisher’s Florida State football team was last year’s national champions. As he and his staff analyzed their championship season, they came up with a different approach to this year’s season. Most coaches look at a past season and see where their team failed, then put in systems and drills in practice to improve on their deficits.
Fisher and his staff reversed the above concept. They looked at what they did well and continued with the systems to sustain their strengths. They didn’t want to lose what they did well by emphasizing their weaknesses.
These two concepts may be valuable for leaders to reflect on.
“It’s not what you teach; it’s what you emphasize.”
Analyze what your organization is doing well at the year’s end and be sure to sustain it.