I’m a sucker for leadership philosophies embraced by successful athletics coaches. Whether it’s John Wooden’s Leadership Pyramid, Vince Lombardi’s What It Takes To Be Number One speech, or just catching up with Coach Burton and Coach Mo (my own former coaches), I always come away with something powerful and enriching. I think the reason is that athletics provides one of the greatest leadership development opportunities out there because players learn to work as a team toward a common goal in a competitive environment. In short, it’s leadership development training for life.
If you follow college football at all, you might have been surprised when Kansas State University climbed to #1 in the BCS Poll at one point this football season. After a disappointing loss to Baylor, they’ll compete with Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl on January 3. When I was in high school, several of my teammates traveled to Manhattan, KS to partake in Bill Snyder’s summer football camp. They came back with raving reviews. My college team is actually the University of Kansas, but it’s impossible for me to ignore the powerful leadership foundation – and results – KSU head coach Bill Snyder has instilled in his program since 1989, when he took over the “worst NCAA Division 1 football program on planet Earth.” Whether or not you are a KSU fan, a football fan, or a fan of athletics at all, I believe there is something powerful each of us can take away from Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success. I’d like to share them with you.
Please don’t miss the most important lesson I take from Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success: that success starts with commitment and ends with responsibility (Tweet). And then there’s the inclusivity of leadership in goal #15 that EVERYONE can set an example.
You can read about Coach Snyder’s goals in his own words in his book They Said It Couldn’t Be Done. Here’s the list:
1. CommitmentTo common goals and to being successful.
2. UnselfishnessThere is no “I” in TEAM.
3. UnityCome together as never before.
4. ImproveEveryday… as a player, person, and student.
5. Be toughMentally and physically.
6. Self-disciplineDo it right, don’t accept less.
7. Great effort
9. Eliminate MistakesDon’t beat yourself.
10. Never give up
11. Don’t accept losingIf you do so one time, it will be easy to do so for the rest of your life.
12. No self-limitationsExpect more of yourself.
13. Expect to winAnd truly believe we will.
14. ConsistencyYour very, very best every time.
15. LeadershipEveryone can set an example.
16. ResponsibilityYou are responsible for your own performance.
For more information on Coach Bill Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success, visit the official website here.
What are your goals for success?
Nathan Magnuson is a leadership consultant, coach, speaker, and thought leader. To learn more about his services, visit NathanMagnuson.com/consulting or follow him on Twitter.