Weekly Leadership Lifter

September 19, 2022

The coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Greg Popovich, is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history. He has won 5 NBA Championships and 1 World Championship. He is regarded around the league as one of the greatest strategists, motivators, and leaders of men there is. Many emulate him, many want to learn his techniques, and hire his assistants.

In his book, "The Culture Code", author Daniel Coyle, says the secret to Popovich's effectiveness is the culture he has created within the Spurs. He recounts a story about how one morning after a devastating loss versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, Popovich slowly made his way around practice, encouraging and connecting with players. The normal coach would’ve have been furious. He would have been going over drills with a red face, griping and complaining about the poor performance of his team. He behaved more like an uncle at a picnic, than a seasoned general who had just been defeated. He would spend around five minutes with each player—talking about kids, family, and life. He ended every conversation with, "love you brother". One of his players said, "Two things you will always hear from Pop. He’ll tell you the truth and he'll tell you he loves you to death."

It’s been said that Popovich's culture is a "coaching" culture, not a "managing" culture. Here are some characteristics of the Spurs culture that Jon Birdsong pointed out in one of his blogs.

I encourage you to take a look and see if you have a "coaching" culture or not:

  1. Belief in the team: coaches create cultures that put the team first. Managers create culture about the individual then get out of their way.
  2. Conflict Management: great coaches make use of conflict to move team members up in the organization or out. Managers try to avoid conflict.
  3. Involvement: coaches get involved before action is needed. Managers react and get involved only when they are needed.
  4. Employee Focus: coaches focus on the top performers. Managers only focus on poor performers. Pay attention to top performers and focus on making more of them.
  5. Team Building: coaches are always practicing and scrimmaging to make their teams better and mandate everyone to practice.

"Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything — for better or for worse." — Simon Sinek

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." — Peter Drucker

"Your brand is your culture." — Tony Hsieh

Years ago, we had a leader over a ministry for boys that was amazing. He saw extreme growth in attendance. With his bright, friendly personality, he recruited volunteers easily, had many successful trainings and workshops, and the morale of the entire department was at an all-time high. People loved working with him and for him. He had created a positive environment and a team culture that inspired growth and cooperation.

Regrettably, he had to move away, and another gentleman took his place. This leader carried an entirely different atmosphere and culture with him. He was a little more negative, a little less enthusiastic about the vision, and a lot more closed to change. As a result, the department suffered and in a few years the ministry was disbanded. The difference was the culture each leader created. Living things will grow in the right culture and environment. Effective leaders understand this and are constantly looking for ways to level up their organization’s culture.

Book Recommendation: The Culture Code - Daniel Coyle

The Culture Code

God is For You!
Pastor Blunt

COTR Marketplace Ministries is a ministry for those in the marketplace and those interested in starting a business. Lifelong learners, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and businesswomen, meet to grow in their leadership and skills. This is a great place to network, build relationships and exchange ideas!

Join us on Saturday, September 24 at 5pm in the main campus lobby. We will have guest speaker, Dr. Bob Harrison. Dr. Harrison is “America’s #1 Increase Authority” and is the founder of Christian Business Leaders International. He is a noted public speaker, best-selling author, self-help guru, investor, and philanthropist. He is a mentor to leaders across the globe and is known worldwide as Dr. Increase™.

Dinner and childcare will be provided. Purchase your tickets online for just $12 (available until 10am day of event) or $15 at the door.