In his superb book, Adversaries into Allies, Bob Burg writes, “In the process of becoming an Ultimate Influencer, controlling your emotions comes before every step, every time.”
It took a game in North Dakota for me to realize how your emotions can adversely affect your judgment. I got so angry at the officials in the second half of a championship game that I had no productive instructions for my team for the final twelve minutes of the game. I allowed my emotions to take me right out of the game.
As I matured as a coach, I came to believe that the coach-referee relationship was not an adversarial relationship. Officials want to make the correct call and that is all we can hope for as coaches – the right call.
I won’t say that I turned referees into allies, but I certainly came to have a better relationship with them when I learned to control my emotions. An official validated this when he told me, “We do listen to you during games because you say so little to us during the course of the game.” I simply said what I had to say to the refs, then went immediately back to my coaching. I could not coach and ref at the same time!
Leaders are coaches. When coaches control their emotions, they are better coaches.
Bob Burg teaches us a very valuable lesson when he emphasizes that in difficult situations our first step, every time, should be to control our emotions.