A wonderful article from http://www.peoplefirm.com about the recent success of the Seattle Seahawks and the infectiously positive culture created by the team’s leader and head coach Pete Carroll.
The article can easily be applied to what we do in officiating.
1) Are we as referees doing what we can to create these types of positive cultures in the games we referee?
2) Are we working with our fellow officials in such a manner?
3) Are we building referee associations that operate by these values?
One quote from Coach Carroll I find very important to changing our culture as officials is this: “In his recent book Carroll asked himself, “What if my job as a coach isn’t so much to force or coerce performance as it is to create situations where players develop the confidence to set their talents free and pursue their potential to its full extent? What if my job is really to prove to these kids how good they already are, how good they could possibly become, and that they are truly capable of high-level performance?”
Take that quote from the coach and translate it into referee talk – how does this sound……?
“What if my job as a referee isn’t so much to force or coerce behavior as it is to create situations where players develop the confidence to set their talents free and pursue their potential to its full extent? What if my job is really to prove to these kids how good they already are, how good they could possibly become, and that they are truly capable of high-level performance?”
Living in Seattle, it’s close to impossible not to get caught up in the Seahawks and Super Bowl frenzy. With the Seahawks winning their first Super Bowl title in history, the city is electric with blue and green. Never before has Seattle felt so unified. The energy is contagious.
As the buzz lingers, we find ourselves talking more and more about the man who helped the Seahawks to their big win. Coach Pete Carroll built an environment that motivated individuals to their best performance while also celebrating the team as a whole – all without ever losing sight of the end goal, the championship. What can you learn from this? So often business leaders forget (or discount) how important it is to support individual and team performance in the push to be more competitive.
So, how does Coach Carroll do it? And how can you apply the same approach to your own workforce? A few key concepts rise to the top:
Create a vision: Pete Carroll drives his players to live, work and play like champions every day, and in every aspect of life. The end goal? To approach all of life’s opportunities with a “winner” mentality and to “compete for life.”1 With a clear and consistent vision, he is able to focus his team every day on long-term success. While perhaps you can’t expect your employees to have quite this level of dedication to their careers, you can create a set of core values for your organization, values that support your business goals, brand, and culture. Think about how you want your team to behave, and set your values around that behavior. Then make those values a central part of your organization and employee philosophy in order to align your team to a common focus.
Be an inspirational leader: In his recent book Carroll asked himself, “What if my job as a coach isn’t so much to force or coerce performance as it is to create situations where players develop the confidence to set their talents free and pursue their potential to its full extent? What if my job is really to prove to these kids how good they already are, how good they could possibly become, and that they are truly capable of high-level performance?”2 What could be more inspiring than a leader who instills confidence and helps the individual team members realize new capabilities in themselves? Take a step back, give your people challenges, and support and guide them as they start to grow. Build a supportive culture built on trust and the celebration of achievement.
Trust your people: Yes, trust again. Linebacker Bobby Wagner has said that “He allows you to be yourself and do certain things because he trusts you. He trusts us and we trust him.”3 Where employees feel trust and empowerment, they are much more likely to give back buy-in and engagement. Hire well, then step back and show your employees that you trust them to do their job, embrace team values, and work towards the team goals.
Raise the bar: Although Carroll empowers his team with a high level of freedom, he also sets extremely high expectations that are clear to everyone. He has said, “We run this program with extraordinary standards in how we prepare every day, with expectations that they’re going to be working their tails off every single step of the practice.”4 Make sure your expectations for your team are communicated clearly. There’s nothing wrong with expecting high performance from your team; in fact, setting a high bar will inspire your team to rise to the challenge. Just be prepared to maintain a high bar for yourself, too!
Encourage a team mentality: “Rule #1 is to always protect the team, you represent us, not yourself.” Coach Carroll asks players to think of bigger team goals and less of immediate returns as they strive together for greatness as a team and as a family.5 You can encourage this same mindset in your organization. Celebrate when the team achieves a goal rather than relying on individual performance goals, or worse, pitting employees against one another. Clearly communicate team goals, and celebrate together when you achieve them.
Celebrate wins and have fun: Carroll’s energy is contagious. You don’t have to look hard to see his genuine excitement as his people rise to do their best. He celebrates every win and every milestone. He also creates a daily environment where people have fun with each other. As he says, “To accomplish the grand, you have to focus on the small; to exist in the eternal perspective, you have to live in the moment.”6 Live in the moment with your team. Don’t cordon yourself off in the corner office. Celebrate even the small achievements with honest, true excitement. Trust and your team will thrive on it.
Carroll is undoubtedly an inspirational leader. And while he’s created a winning team, it’s not just about winning on Sunday, or about winning a Super Bowl. It’s about creating the type of atmosphere that drives team members to want to win every day – together. Carroll believes that by finding the best people and challenging them to find their own best selves, they will bring it. And that they have – and so can you!
PeopleFirm is a consultancy with the single focus of helping organizations realize the full potential in their people. Our unique approach identifies and implements targeted investments in the human side of organizations, with a focus on effective tools, measurable outcomes, real results, employee buy-in, and getting your people out of their seats and engaged in your company’s growth.
1 Seahawks.com: “The essence of Pete Carroll’s ‘Win Forever’ philosophy” January 29, 2014
2 SeattlePI.com: “Pete Carroll’s new book simply says “Win Forever” July 15, 2010
3 NY Daily News: “Laid-back style of Pete Carroll has Seahawks in Super Bowl” February 2, 2014
4 SeattlePI.com: “Pete Carroll’s new book simply says “Win Forever” July 15, 2010
5 NBCSports.com: “Pete Carroll’s Positive, Profound Approach To Football Working Wonders In Seattle” September 13, 2013
6 Seahawks.com: “The essence of Pete Carroll’s ‘Win Forever’ philosophy” January 29, 2014
Photos: RedBox Pictures, Newsday
In 2014 there are 3 remaining State Tournament Finals Weekends all at Starfire in Tukwila. We will host a combination of referee trainings for each of the 3 remaining weekends. The focus of each weekend is below.
April 26 and 27 – Boys and Girls U10 & U11 Challenge Cup Finals – with just a few games we will team referees together and there won’t be an official academy built around this weekend just mentoring and teamwork.
May 3 and 4 – Boys and Girls U12-U14 Challenge and Championship Cup – all 2014 Young Referee of the Year award nominees from around Washington are invited to officiate at this academy. Special training and events will be built around celebrating these fine Young Referee of the Year nominees.
May 10 and 11 (Mother’s Day weekend) – Girls U15-U19 Challenge and Championship Cup – with the goal of being officiated by our state’s finest female referees we will once again work to invite top female referees from around our state to this showcase weekend.
July 25- 27, 2014 Referee Development Academy – Ellensburg, WA
Take a look at this Harvard Business Review Blog Post. All of us as referees regardless of our years of service, USSF grade, age or experience have a role to play as a leader. We have to teach and foster leadership from all of our referees. This is a good how-to manual for that.
Washington Youth Soccer is proud that one of our best referees, Chuck Spaniola will be representing Washington as a referee at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park Kansas. Chuck was selected as one of the top referees at the Region IV Far West Regional Championships in Honolulu. Chuck organizes our Monday night referee fitness runs and is an engineer at Boeing. Congratulations to Chuck!!!
Zoe Birkbeck and Ryan Fairhurst are our 2013 WA Youth Soccer Young Referees of the Year! Both are off to college next year and we wish them all the best as they continue on as referees.
Major CONGRATULATIONS to our 31 Young Referee of the Year Nominees. All nominees and one guest are invited to the Washington Youth Soccer awards luncheon on May 18th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tukwila. All nominees and guests must please RSVP to attend. Additional seats may be purchased for $30. To RSVP please fill out the 2013 WA Youth Soccer Awards Luncheon Registration form and if you have any questions please contact Kristen Philips at email@example.com
May 4 and 5 – Boys and Girls U12-U14 Challenge and Championship Cup – all 2013 Young Referee of the Year award nominees from around Washington are invited to officiate at this academy. Special training and events will be built around celebrating these fine Young Referee of the Year nominees. Special thanks to Dee White, Katie Fadden and Ian Johnson for managing this weekend.
Over the summer of 2013 we will also pick a few youth tournaments to use as training weekends for this group of young referees.
We need to improve the quality of the feedback we give our referees. We need more, better assessors and mentors. We need you to join us as we create a new fleet of people who can develop our referees. Since the RDA in Ellensburg we have seen tremendous energy from referees to upgrade and advance but we need more bodies to support/train/develop/assess our eager referees.
Curriculum development specialist Brad Board facilitated a weekend clinic that involved high-level leadership development. Our National Assessors led the soccer instruction; Sandy Hunt, Mohammad Zarrbi-Kashani and Cory Dean. Jim Madrid is the leadership development guru employed by the Sounders to develop their athletes and he was an instrumental piece of the weekend’s success.
We are also combining with WAISOA and WIAA to create a cohesive referee develop program.
Elements of our new referee development philosphoy includes instructing assessors and mentors to focus on:
The Next Match – 100% focus on tomorrow
Providers of Answers
Must fix and give solutions
Performance, Performance, Performance and Success, Success, Success
Teach to not repeat problems. Solve what was a problem in this game then move onto solving the problems in the next game. No dwelling on the past.