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Friday, August 2, 2013


A few weeks ago, I had a post about a book and made reference to the fact that I would have loved to have read it when I first started coaching.  In fact, it would be in my Top 10 books that I think could've impacted me greatly as a young coach just starting out.  I have since received a great number of requests asking for the complete list and so each day, over the next few weeks, I will list a book that I think young coaches would benefit from reading as they start their coaching journey.  I would imagine that many will be looking for X&O books -- just as I did when I first started coaching -- but instead you will find a list of books that will not only make you a better coach, but a better person. Books that concentrate on teaching, goal setting, communication and leadership.

Book #9

I have yet to find a book by John Maxwell that didn’t improve me professionally and personally.  This particular book hits home because I think it can directly improve the vision of an assistant coach.  And since we are talking about career starting books — most of us start our careers as assistant coaches.  It talks about our ability to lead others no matter where we are in the organizational chain.  As Don Meyer would say, "You may not be the leader but you can be a leader."  Here is a list from Maxwell on things we can do to lighten the load on the primary leader.

1. The one thing that the top leader can never let go of is final responsibility.

2. As an employee, you can do one of two things for your leader. You can make the load lighter, or you can make it heavier.

3. I should mention that motives do matter when it comes to lifting your leader’s load. I’m recommending that you lift up, not suck up.

4. “Those who drink the water must remember those who dug the well.”

5. When you help someone bigger then you, it makes you part of something bigger.

6. Lifting others isn’t meant to be a one-time occurrence. You can’t add value to people by helping them once.

7. It’s not how heavy the load is. It’s how you carry it.

8. From the perspective of the top leader, the question that must be asked is, “Am I better off with them on the team?”

9. The lift you give for the leader often leads to the leader lifting you.

10. Do Your Own Job Well First
“It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What’s tough is being good every day.”

11. When You Find A Problem, Provide A Solution
“Don’t find a fault; find a remedy.”

12. Tell Leaders What They Need To Hear, Not What They Want To Hear
“Very few big executive want to be surrounded by ‘yes’ men.” -Burton Bigelow

13. Go The Second Mile
“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”

14. Stand Up For Your Leader Whenever You Can
“When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.”

15. Stand In For Your Leader Whenever You Can

16. Ask Your Leader How You Can Lift The Load

1. Ninety-nine percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization.

 2. You don’t have to be held hostage to your circumstances or position. You do not have to be the CEO to lead effectively. And you can learn to make an impact through your leadership even if you report to someone who is not a good leader. You learn to develop your influence from wherever you are in the organization by becoming a 360- Degree Leader. You learn to lead up, lead across, and lead down.

3. Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit.

4. You can lead others from anywhere in an organization. And when you do, you make the organization better.

5. “To do nothing in the middle is to create more weight for the top leader to move. For some leaders- it might even feel like dead weight. Leaders in the middle can have a profound effect on an organization.”

6. Every level of an organization depends on leadership from someone.

7. Anyone can choose to become a leader wherever he is. You can make a difference no matter where you are.