Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mission, Goals and a lot of Heart!

SMU Women's Golf 2013-14

Our morning workout today was a brutal one.  We are 12 days from playing a tournament at 8000 feet on a hilly golf course, so I've asked our strength coach to get our legs and lungs ready.  The team ran gassers today and they really impressed me with their work ethic and heart.  They ran as hard on the 10th as they did on the first with burpees, squats, lunges, wall sits, sit ups, push ups, etc in between each gasser.  What I witnessed brings me to talk about an article I sent to them yesterday.  In the article, the author talked about a visible culture that was consistent and constant in a group.  Each person seemed to reflect the culture in all they did.  To me, that is the mark of a group that believes in what they are doing.  It is the definition of total buy in.  It is what I see in this team.

In a small group dynamic, such as a golf team, leadership comes from every member of the group.  While there may be more vocal leaders within the group, modeling is equally effective as a leadership tool.  We believe in the equality of each in the group and this year we designed our leadership and communication to reflect that belief.  We asked each person to give a touchstone that reflected an important value of the team.  Each week, anyone can award that touchstone to a teammate who demonstrated the value.  It can also be used as a teaching moment by awarding it to a teammate who needs to commit more attention to a value.  We spend time talking about our week as a team and we pass a talking rock to make sure that we all have a voice. 

Next, we set our team goals in much the same way.  Each player and each coach offered one goal that we wanted the team to reach.  It lead to one of the more powerful goal setting meetings I have seen in my coaching career.  The differences are due to the ownership each player felt during the meeting and the emotional tie to the goals that were presented.  I've been through many a meeting with fewer goals that were set without much attachment, but this was different.  Each player explained her team goal and why it was important.  Eleven goals are a lot for a team, but they are very diverse and each will accomplish a different aspect of success, including competition, cooperation and attitude.

Finally, the team set their mission.  This is the only thing I want to share in public, but my hope is that it is shared visibly in all we do.  It took a few minutes of discussion of what we wanted to stand for and how we could define what we did and how, but in the end, the team decided that one word would do it.  SMU Women's Golf Mission:  We are ONE!

Now that we know who we are, what we want and what is important to us, all that is left is the work of achieving all of it.  The work won't just be on our golf games, but also on our relationships, our values, our beliefs and our mission.  Together, we will achieve great things.  We are ONE!

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