Coach Bill Snyder – Kansas State University’s legendary football coach – inherited a zero-and-twelve football team in the early ‘90’s and, three years later, they were ten-and-two. He retired once and the team spiraled downhill so they brought him back. The Wildcats then won the Big 12 title three years later and played in a bowl game. The reason for his success? He inspires his players to constantly improve themselves as people first, then as a player.
He asks every players this question: What have you done today to improve yourself?
- To deepen your faith?
- To strengthen your family?
- To become a better student?
- To become a better football player?
You would think a football coach would be more concerned about what the player did to become a better player rather than to deepen his faith, or strengthen his family, or improve his grades. Yet the question about football was saved until last.
Coach Snyder gets it: personal values drive every activity we do. Getting the why before the what is always the most important priority.
People thrive in a work environment that encourages both professional and personal improvement. Gallup released their State of the American workplace report which found that less than one-third of all employees had been asked by their manager how they could help improve themselves professionally. The same study revealed that one-third of employees were actually engaged in their workplace.
Reckon there’s a correlation?
Here are the first five leadership lessons: