Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Put me in Coach!

Well, it has been a minute or two since I have written a post, and I can honestly say I have missed writing.  Writing is my outlet to clear my mind in so many ways.  With that said, I will say, I have had lots of time to do a lot of thinking and reflecting.  

One of the things that I have been thinking about is how people, when provided with the right opportunity, have an ability to capitalize on those opportunities.  Unfortunately, many ideas and too many people sit on the sidelines patiently awaiting the right opportunity.  In 1985, John Fogerty, formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival, released the song, "Centerfield".  The chorus of the song says, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play".  All the player wanted was a chance to show he could play "centerfield".

In the workplace, there is a myriad of "players" just sitting on the bench, wondering when it will be their turn to "get in the game" and make a difference for the team.  Unfortunately, those players can't always recognize that they are already in the game and making a difference.  Leaders take the time to recognize the contributions that each team member makes to the game. From a morale and retention perspective, recognition of the smallest contributions can sometimes yield the biggest performance results.

In my current role, I have had two members of my team that have recently stepped up when asked.  Their contributions have forced us to raise our collective expectations of where the department should be performing. Had they not "accepted the challenge" job dissatisfaction may have increased resulting in them pursuing other lesser opportunities in order to feel more appreciated.  As a leader, I am very proud of the recognition that they are receiving from our external customers.

I have been privileged to work with a great team of professionals ranging from front line team members through senior leadership who have supported different initiatives.  Many of these initiatives have been kick started from the front lines.  It is a great feeling as a leader in my organization to encourage innovative thinking and then see those thoughts progress from a concept to production, with credit all going to the front lines where the idea was generated from. 

Take a look around your team and see what is being cultivated in your workplace. Is it a disease as a result of letting things just exist, or is it the right cure or solution that just has been fully cultivated?  As a leader, it is up to you to decide.  Are you going to listen to those saying, "Put ME in Coach", or are you going to let your bench just erode?

Have a great week!


  1. I've seen this is action and it is such a shame to see "bench setter talent" go to waste. Your right, taking the time to recognize where the talent lys and then find a way to utilize it makes for a win win all around. :-)

  2. I freelance now, so don't have to deal with that type of day to day environment. Whether in other work situations though or in the classroom, it's usually more likely for people to rise to the occasion than not. They just need to be given the chance...

  3. I like the 'put me in coach' analogy. Often times leaders forget to lead and only do, leaving the others wondering what they are doing there. Recognizing and using the talent isn't only good for the leader but for the entire team. When people feel they have a say, they often are motivated to perform to their best.

  4. Hello
    I think this is human nature that they need appreciation and recognition of their work. I believe if leaders appreciate the work of the team , this will boost confidence in team. Team also get that leaders care for them so they must achieve all the targets set for them. Appreciation, higher the standards of performance.
    It was a nice read .

  5. It's hard to sit somewhere and feel underutilized. It's important for coaches (or bosses) to make sure everyone is getting a chance to speak up and be a part of the action. This was a very interesting read. Nice Fogerty mention, btw:)