Monday, June 13, 2016


This is the second of three parts about the philosophy of culture as it is taught by Ohio State's Urban Meyer.  The following comes from his book "Above The Line" which I feel strongly needs to be on every coaches library shelf:

Building a culture is a three-part process.

Believe It
First you have  to think deeply about the guiding principles and core values that you want at the heart of your organization.  What behaviors are essential to execute your strategy, and waht beliefs are essential to drive those behaviors?  Identify the behaviors that are necessary to execute your strategy.  Identify the beliefs that are necessary to drive and sustain those behaviors.

Second, examine yourself.  Be honest and courageous.  Do you believe in those core values and does your behavior reflect that belief?

If you don't believe it, no one else will believe it.

Sell It
Once your culture is clearly defined, communicate it to your players and staff with clarity and consistency, explaining why it is essential to the success of the program.  This is not a deviate.  This is you as the leader standing before your team and building the foundation necessary for success.  Your culture message but be exceptionally clear: no confusion, no uncertainty, no excuses.

Demand It
When you determine what the culture is and communicate it with exceptional clarity, it is imperative that you hold people accountable to it.  Let people know that adherence to the culture isn't merely an expectation, it is a requirement.  The culture is the only acceptable standard of performance.  One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is failing to hold people accountable for behavior that is inconsistent with the culture.  Remember this: if you permit, you promote it.

The leadership challenge is to build a culture that generates and sustains winning behavior.