As a little boy I had the rare opportunity to see a football legend up close and in person. A good friend of mine was a big Cowboys fan and one year his parents took us to see the Dallas Cowboys play the NY Giants. That was where I ran into legendary coach Tom Landry.
What made this special was it was the year the NY Giants were building the new Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands. So, during that time, the Giants had to play their games in Connecticut at the Yale Bowl. Here, the teams came out of the locker room and had to walk past the fans waiting outside. And that is where I came face to face with Coach Landry.
Tom Landry coached the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for twenty-nine years. Those twenty-nine years included twenty straight winning seasons and two Super Bowl titles. People say he was a coach who told you what you didn’t want to hear, and who had you see what you didn’t want to see, so you could be who you had always known you could be.
The traits of coachability Landry sought were honesty and humility, the willingness to persevere and work hard, as well as a constant openness to learning. These traits are so important because to truly be coachable you need a degree of self-awareness and vulnerability that a lot of people are not willing to give.
The question for you and your team is, are you coachable?
As leaders we need to learn how self-aware our team members are. We need to not only understand the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, but also understand how well the employee understands his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Where are they honest with themselves, and where are their blind spots?
And then it is the coach’s job to raise that self-awareness further and to help them see the flaws they don’t see for themselves. People don’t like to talk about these flaws, which is why honesty and humility are so important.
So, the question again is, are you coachable? Are you willing to be honest with yourself and your coach? Being coachable starts with being humble enough to recognize you aren’t perfect, and once you do, let the coaching begin.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.