Being yourself, taking over a team as coach don’t go in with the big stick, hard, mean, dictatorial, it doesn’t work. Look at some of the Afl coaches who tried this procedure, they didn’t last long.
Remember ‘life is not a popularity contest’ and although that sounds great in theory, one of the most basic human needs is to be accepted. When we are criticised, it sets off a whole host of self-doubting behaviour. Of course, everyone likes to be liked. The satisfaction or even the ego boost from feeling popular is something we can wear as a badge of honour. However trying to be liked by everyone is not the best way forward for our wellbeing or performance.
When in a position of leadership and wanting to be liked by everyone is fraught with danger, not to mention the amount of extra pressure it places on your role. In these Coaching roles and it takes a very special individual to accomplish the above whilst still being liked 100% of the time. If we look at some of the past great Coaches, Norm Smith, Alan Jeans, John Kennedy, Ron Barassi, Kevin Sheedy, Michael Malthouse, Leigh Mathews Alister Clarkson etc, a lot of their ideas would have been opposed and many possibly having heated arguments, however they will go down as the most respected people in their period of time in Football..
Everybody likes to be liked, especially by your peers and team mates,. There have been many times in the past where I have made decisions, believing to be best for the team. E.G In 1987 selection for MFC prelim. Final Rodney Grinter (who was out, suspended) became available that week, after hours of discussion (sometimes heated) Rodney was selected to play in the Prelim final.
The next task was for me to tell Dave Williams (who played in the winning team the week before) was omitted from the side, thinking back this was one of the hardest times of my coaching career (apart from telling Stephen Newport we were swapping him for a player from St Kilda), however, a decision had been made by the club and the issue was addressed. No doubt you or someone you work with has found themselves in a similar position, it may even be a source of frustration or the barrier holding you back from personal or team success. I’m positive the art of finding the balance between being respected and being liked is something that comes with experience, being respected sets up a great foundation to reach your goals.. Obviously the ultimate goal is to be respected and liked, even when struggling for results.
To be successful and respected in any leadership or a business position you need basic fundamentals:
i) Be yourself, not what you think you have to be
ii) Appoint good people in your support team
iii) Communicate with all at the club, making sure they are always informed (including players)
iv) Maintain strong and fair disciplines and habits. (This creates a culture change)
Building respect with others will come from the things you say, equally important from the actions you take.
Those actions may not be liked across the board, but if they are always for the betterment of your player, the team and the people around you, then you will be always respected.