The game is about to start, a graphic flashes on the screen, and the broadcast announcers give the “Keys to Success” for each team. Well here is your “Cs to Success” for you and/or your team. Whether I am doing some self-evaluating, evaluating my staff, or looking to hire someone new on my staff, I find myself going through the list below. This is by no means an end all be all list. There are hundreds more attributes that lead to success in our industry. These are just some that I try to instill in myself and my staff, and what I look for in a new hire.
The most obvious one in this list, hence why it’s first. We live in an industry in which creative thought takes up a majority of our work life. How many meetings, phone calls, and email threads have you been a part of to come up with the “great idea”? Some are born with the creative gene, others have to develop and get those creative juices flowing. Either way, creativity should be on the top of your lists in order to be successful.
Like creative, this one can be a bit of an obvious one. Commitment is something that is needed in any profession; however, in this industry commitment is a must on day one. The 40+ hours in the office per week plus events will be pretty rough if you aren’t committed to your school, team, and office.
Don’t be afraid to go after a new idea, no matter how small or big, outlandish or silly. Some of the best promotions have been the ones that no one thought would work. Challenge your staff. Challenge yourself. Break boundaries. The last words of a dying department is “that’s how we’ve always done it.” If you have an idea that you believe you can make great than go for it. Even if you are told no, keep pushing for it. Prove them wrong. Take the chance. No one can fault you for trying.
To piggy back off being courageous, it’s important to have the confidence in yourself and your skills. Know what you are talking about and let everyone know you know what you are talking about. There is nothing that will turn off an administrator or coach more is to have someone who is not confident in themselves and their work.
In order to be successful you must have everyone on the same page. It is important to keep all lines of communication open throughout the various departments you work with. Whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly meetings, email threads, Google docs, etc. make sure each member of the external team knows and understands what is going on and what is trying to be accomplished.
We have come to the final, and what I believe to be the most important C to success. You could probably get away with not possessing one of the first six Cs, but if you are not compatible or have difficulty working within your team, you aren’t going to make it. It’s no coincidence that a team is needed to be successful in all aspects of this industry, on and off the playing surfaces. Get to know the people on your team. Try your best to elude or diffuse conflict within the team. Help out in other areas when needed, be a team player. Again, this is a team. If one fails we all fail.