“There are only two ways to influence human behavior. You can either manipulate people or you can INSPIRE people.”
— Simon Sinek
What kind of leader are you?
What kind of coach?
What kind of parent?
Are you manipulating the behavior of your players, your children?
Or are you INSPIRING them to be their best?
It’s easy to use your position of authority to boss others around or to dangle rewards out in front of them or threaten them with punishments.
But INSPIRING people to bring the best out of them?
That’s a whole different level of leadership.
Napoleon Hill said, “History is filled with evidences that leadership by force cannot endure. The downfall and disappearance of “dictators” and kings is significant. It means that people will not follow forced leadership indefinitely … Leadership by consent of the followers is the only brand which can endure. Men may follow forced leadership temporarily, but they will not do so willingly.”
It takes time and energy and effort and getting to know your players, getting to know your children, understanding them at their level, meeting them where they’re at and guiding them from where they are to where they want to be.
It also involves helping THEM figure out where THEY WANT.
Dale Carnegie says, “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think about that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person WANT to do it.
Remember, there is no other way.
Of course, you can make someone want to give you his watch by sticking a revolver in his ribs. You can make your employees give you cooperation–until your back is turned–by threatening to fire them. You can make a child do what you want it to do by a whip or threat. But these CRUDE methods have sharply UNDESIRABLE REPERCUSSIONS.”
The fact is that manipulation “WORKS.” Using punishment, rewards, fear, etc DOES produce desired behaviors and results.
But the problem is, it doesn’t breed loyalty or TRUST.
The problem is the gain is only short term.
The problem is that, over time, there is a higher price to pay for the results you want.
The problem is it increases STRESS between the parties involved.
If the long term is of no consequence, then manipulation (offering rewards, dishing out or simply using the threat of punishment, playing on fear, etc) is a true option.
Personally, I could care less about “loyalty” because the right people will stay and the ones that don’t belong will go. Whether you “stay loyal” to me is your choice and I am completely unattached to what you feel is best for you. You are 100% free to make whatever choice you want or need to make.
Aside from the loyalty issue, as both a coach and a parent, and just as a human being…
- I am not here just for short term gain. I am here to do what’s best for players/my kids long term.
- Being someone who is worthy of TRUST is a big deal to me. I want make decisions and coach and parent in a way that builds trust. Manipulation doesn’t do that. Inspiration does.
- Stress is absolutely NOT something I want to create between myself and my players, nor between myself and my family. No one wants to listen more if you make choices that cause stress and strain in your relationship (be it a parent/child relationship or a coach/player relationship).
What are some of the best ways to inspire others?
- meet them where they’re at
- be of service to them
- treat them with respect and earn, not demand, theirs
- make them feel important in your presence
How can you do these things for your players today?
Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.