Soccer Moms Are For Real! Alright, to be fair all parents are for real when it comes to their progeny in the course of competition. From spelling bees, debate, basketball, soccer, football, and all the rest parents are for real.
From the time of my youth I have been competitive in nature, loving the endorphin rush to the finish line to having the last line in a debate. The last few years I have had the privilege to referee High School Soccer.
What I have observed, learned, and gleaned from the soccer pitch is our youth deserve to play in a safe, competitive, inspiring, and empowering environment. How parents show up is how they will show up to lead your organization. Board room bullies are for real!
Parents hold the key to safe play for your youth’s environment. Yes, administrative staff, coaches, and referees hold these key elements too, but parents have the ultimate ability to turn a competitive event from fun to devastating the hearts of our youth.
Being in the center of the field to the sidelines refereeing I have heard the best and the worst from parents. This leads me to your boardroom. How people show up to events in “support” of their children is telltale of how they will show up in your boardroom.
Parents are not the only influence: fellow competitors, coaches, and other participants show up to instill inspired competition…or use downright degrading language which is not worth repeating. However, these moments give me the guilty pleasure of presenting them a yellow card for a warning. If things get worse, referees can stop play and have the offending parties removed.
Crucial conversations will always come into play on and off the field. However, competition is not the time to be yelling, huffing, and stroking out over a bad play. I appreciate how one of my colleagues, Judy Preston, calls these Courageous Conversations, which should happen one-on-one or off the field of play and out of the board room.
Here are a few ways to create a REAL space for empowered play and inspired competition from the soccer field to your boardroom:
Reward: Give everyone a sportsmanlike handshake before or after the game. It is the reward for showing upto play. If the coaches, referees, and players did not show up there would be no play. If you are unhappy or dislike someone it is NOT your prerogative to be disrespectful. Reward others with respect you also deserve.
Environment: Create a safe environment for all to participate, compete, learn, and hone individual and team skills. This could include cheering for the competitor. The higher level of play, the more you learn.
Action: Take action when others are not lifting others. Everyone from players, coaches, referees, parents, and observers should show up with an attitude to serve each other, and push each other to the next level. Boardroom culture should be no different.
Lead: Everyone is a leader of one (you). Show up to make a difference to those around you. One word of encouragement could make someone’s game on and off the field.
Challenge: Respect yourself by respecting others, take action toward the good of all concerned, create an environment to take risk to fail and win; lead by example because everyone is a leader.
Look UP & OUT!
Tracy Worley (2015) Authentic Leadership, Authentic Self
Tracy Worley (2015) Hero2One™