Wow, did someone in the public eye really just buck current societal norms by drawing a line in the sand??? Now that’s leadership. Read on …
There is an NCAA coach who—while seeking victories—finds victory in teaching discipline, respect for others, and self-control to his players. His name is …
… Josh Pastner.
Coach Pastner, University of Memphis men’s basketball coach, recently did something rarely seen nowadays:
He suspended a player for cussing.
Yes, you read that right. The article is here.
In Coach Pastner’s own words …
Dominic is a good kid,” said Pastner. “but there are some things that I just won’t tolerate. I don’t talk that way, and I don’t want players talking that way. My job is to coach Dom, and to love him, but with love comes discipline, and if a few extra wind sprints in practice didn’t teach the lesson, maybe this suspension will.
One doesn’t need to agree with Coach Pastner valuing clean language (for full disclosure, I do) to learn from him. He clearly shows each of us how to lead …
Five Steps to Leadership
Step 1: Define Values
Values are principles, ideals, and behavioral norms that I’m willing to “fall on my sword” to defend. Coach Pastner has clarified and decided what he believes.
Step 2: Establish Standards
From my values flow my standards of behaviors that if I break I would feel guilty. Coach Pastner chooses to not use four-letter words and does not allow them to come from his players. It’s what we call an “absolute” in Parenting the QBQ Way (PQW).
Parents, have you defined your absolutes? Not doing so leads to weak parenting.
Step 3: Communicate Standards
A leader’s standards are never secret. Surrounding every leader are people who know exactly what their leader stands for. Nobody needs to guess, for they have been told.
Step 4: Enforce Standards
It’s not a standard if it’s allowed to be broken. A standard enforced is a leader’s line in the sand.
In PQW we write about Marie, a mom, who communicated to her teen son that there would be no driver’s license until his grades improved—and then she stuck to it. We call that “doing the hard stuff” of parenting.
It’s also called … leadership.
Step 5: Stand Alone (if necessary)
If I need to win the favor of others, I can never lead. It’s impossible to lead from within the pack. How many Memphis fans, players, and members of the press thought Coach Pastner did the wrong thing? I bet a whole bunch. But he did it anyway.
[Tweet “A leader is not afraid of standing alone.”]
Thank you, Josh Pastner, for a pure, practical, and powerful lesson in leadership!
So, the questions that help us put this altogether are …
Have I defined my values?
Have I established my standards/absolutes?
Have I communicated my standards/absolutes?
Do I enforce my standards/absolutes?
Am I willing to stand alone?
Let’s each work on answering those questions today, because becoming a leader is a worthy goal.
Do you believe Coach Pastner made the right call?
Which of the 5 steps to leadership do you need to work on first?