You want to be a head coach.
You believe the work you’re doing today will land you the perfect job tomorrow.
You’re just waiting for the right one to open…
There’s one major problem: There is no “right job.”
Every open position comes with a variety of issues, and every organization, even the ones we perceive as elite, has problems. The perfect job will never open because it does not exist.
But the reality is that becoming a head coach starts years before you actually hold the title. It begins with observation, preparation and, most importantly, the crafting of your personal philosophy and beliefs.
You should be able to write down on a single piece of paper exactly what type of program you want to run, what your values are and how you plan on executing your leadership mission. Can you succinctly answer the hardest questions of all — what vision do I have for this program and how can I best implement that vision to get others to buy-in?
Some of the plans on your sheet of paper might also include what you want to do in your first 100 days or what you won’t tolerate in your program. Through the writing process, you must identify some core beliefs that have already been battled tested.
Billionaire investor Charlie Munger once said:
“What have I seen before that is just like what I am doing/seeing now? What is this situation similar to? And to make an analogy, I must be able to pinpoint the crux of the situation and I must be able to be good at the art of elimination — to look and see what counts and what doesn’t. Being able to reliable ‘sniff’ what counts in a complex situation and to reliably put one’s finger on it (and, conversely, to ignore what doesn’t count) is the trick of thinking well.”
Munger was referring to making decisions within his business, but that paragraph essentially is what will prepare you to become a head coach. Experience situations through a head coaching lens, find similarities, eliminate the inconsequential, and identify the core problem that existed before your arrival.
Start that preparation today. Regardless of whether you want to become the middle school volleyball coach or roam the sidelines in the NFL, everything begins with that blank piece of paper.