Monday, December 27, 2010

Make Your Halftime Adjustments Now

Once a coach, always a coach... With my coaching background, I often look at my faculty as a team and the school year as a game (chronologically speaking). If this is the lens through which I'm viewing the school year currently, I find myself at halftime. In my coaching days, I reflected on the first half on the way from the sideline to the locker room where I then would recap and debrief the team before laying out the plan for the second half of the game. Once I reached the locker room, I shared my assessment, communicated my adjusted game plan and offered both constructive criticism and encouragement to my players. This is a good plan for educational leaders, too.

I was taught that one of the signs of a mature and competent coach is the ability to make appropriate halftime adjustments. In leadership as in sports, making halftime adjustments is a multi-step process and is vital to the success of an organization. First, a coach must assess and analyze the first half based on his observations, the statistics, and feedback from players. Second, a coach must decide what adjustments need to be made to improve his team's performance in the second half. Finally, a coach must communicate clearly to his team so his players understand his vision for the second half. An educator, likewise, would do well to assess his first semester performance, as well as his team's performance, to make adjustments for the second semester, and to communicate the plan to his team so everyone is on the same page.

To quote James Baldwin, "Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can changed until it is faced." This certainly is germane to the idea of halftime adjustments in a school or other organization. If things in a particular area of your school, department or classroom have not been at an appropriate level of excellence, those things will not get fixed without someone making an adjustment. That someone must be you, the educational leader. Don't be stubborn and allow issues to go uncorrected or unaddressed. Waiting until the next game, or school year, to address those items that need to be addressed, will be harmful to your team, your players and your organization. Remember, you're the coach and your responsibility is to make your team better. Period.

Alright, everyone in... "Team" on 3!

No comments: