If you want to learn about team culture you can look at examples from some of the most successful professional teams in the world. Or you can walk down to you local high school. Clay Erro is on example of that. You likely don’t know his name, but in nearly 40 years as a football and track coach in northern California he accumulated one of the top winning percentages of all time. And he did it through team culture.
Back in 2013, Erro presented his approach to team building and culture at GAIN. Through our partnership with GAIN, we’ve been able to share the core of that presentation with HMMR Plus members to close of our focus on culture this month. Throughout the new 75 minute video he discusses in detail his philosophy, as well as the four instructions he used to put it into action.
Culture comes from relationships
The common theme running throughout his approach is relationships. Coaching is about relationships. Performance is about relationships. Life is about relationships.
But it takes a little more than simply knowing it is about relationships. You have to create the relationships. Most of us start off on the wrong foot here since we start defining a culture with rules. If you want to build a strong relationship, it doesn’t start with rules. Just look at marriage as an example. Rules give us a false sense of security; they are not all powerful since they get broken all the time. Instead, it is the relationships that are the backbone of a culture.
Rather than starting out with rules, try starting out with a handshake. It sounds like a simple gesture, but when you have dozens of athletes on your team a handshake is the best first step in developing relationships. It creates a platform to talk with everyone, to listen to everyone, and to build relationships.