What's Your Philosophy?

Nothing inspires people more than someone with a plan, a philosophy, and a strong conviction.

The NFL hiring practices for minority coaches have come under great scrutiny recently and for good reason. The absence of minorities on and off the field is appalling. While many are experts on identifying the problem, few can solve it. Until there are changes in the system, all any coach can do is work on his or her craft —which simply means preparation.

If you want to be a head coach, you need to think like a head coach. That doesn’t mean you don't handle your other jobs, but in your free time, you must always be thinking, absorbing, taking notes, and revising your plan for when your number gets called. Never assume it won't happen. Prepare as if it will. 

Since there are no head coaching academies to attend, you must rely on improving your leadership skills as well as your overall philosophy. You don't know when the opportunity might arise, but you need to spend time each day working on who you want to be as a leader and what your philosophy and approach to coaching will be when sitting in the head chair. It starts with a distinctive plan, a philosophy within each section of the organization, then a big-picture philosophy. This does not mean contemplating your dream weather or location. It’s about style, how to approach the game, and how to win it. 

Your philosophy is the essence of who you are as a coach and a leader. It must be detailed, and it must have video clips to support your beliefs serving as evidence for the "how and why" your philosophy works best. It’s not scheme driven. It’s belief-driven — this becomes your DNA. Once you have formed your coaching DNA, then you will have a firm conviction of your beliefs. And when in an interview room, what sells best is a strong conviction. After all, how can you get people to believe your plan if you yourself don't have a strong belief?  

An encompassing philosophy is what organizations want/need to hire. Often franchises run rudderless without one person leading the core beliefs every single day. Nothing inspires people more than someone with a plan, a philosophy, and a strong conviction. The world will get out the way for someone who knows where they're going. 

Start moving, start developing, don't wait for a plan of hiring. 

P.S. If you are in search of a book recommendation, our team at The Daily Coach highly recommends Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker. Tony Dungy's words and example have intrigued millions of people, particularly following his victory in Super Bowl XLI, the first for an African American coach. In this inspiring and reflective memoir, Coach Dungy tells the story of a life lived for God and family—and challenges us all to redefine our ideas of what it means to succeed. 

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