I had a wonderful opportunity to hear Dave Odom speak this morning. For those of you who don’t know (like me before this AM), he’s a highly successful, now retired college basketball coach from North Carolina. Now, I don’t follow basketball, which is probably considered blasphemous in this part of the country, but I am interested in great coaching.
Coach Odom is a master coach. Teams he coached won a lot, so he got results consistently over a long period of time. That kind of thing doesn’t happen accidentally and the stories he told bore that out.
In the Attributes of a Master Coach post, I listed several competencies required for coaching mastery. I saw and heard evidence of every single one of them. He even highlighted the importance of trust and care, consistent with attribute #7 and my follow up post on Trust in Coaching.
He also spoke of commitment to excellence, in that the pursuit of excellence supersedes ego, fear of failure, and desire for success and rewards. What matters most is the doing what it takes. Attacking obstacles. Finding ways to be great. You do these things, other people will call you successful.
Yet, success itself was never the goal because how do you arrive there? How much winning is enough? At a particular juncture, he shared a story where realized that no amount of winning quenches the desire to excel. It seemed as though he began asking the question where all this striving to win was headed.
Where it was headed was an opportunity to live out his passion. Sports is his thing. He knew it from a young age and followed that path despite family pressure to do otherwise. Solving tough problems and striving to be great in a domain you love is a hugely satisfying journey.
In the Q&A portion of the talk, he was asked what he attributed his success to. Without hesitation, he described, in his own words, the three types of connections of the performance platform model. After that, he talked about trust, care and commitment to excellence. The platform comes first.
What does this mean for you? The secret to success isn’t complicated nor only open to those with obvious natural talent. Follow these steps:
- Know and follow your passion.
- Build out your performance platform.
- Build the competencies to be great.
Not sure how? I can help you do all of these things through PerforMentor.