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:

Keeping the Monkeys Where They Belong: Leadership Lesson #5

Leading From the Back Pew:  Leadership Lesson #4

The 5 C’s of Decision Making: Leadership Lesson #3

The Only Person Who Welcomes Change is a Wet Baby: Leadership Lesson #2

3 Ways to Move People From Chaos to Unity: Leadership Lesson #1