Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“That Ain’t No Deal”

Posted by admin May - 6 - 2014 - Tuesday

I have a good friend and Brother-in-Christ who just published a book. His son wrote it about his dad. The dad, my friend, was a super successful businessman. He took a fledgling nursery and built it into a multi-million dollar business. He did it the hard way and the right way: He worked hard and treated people the right way.
My friend coined a catchphrase, the title of this entry and the title of his book, that the book states that he never planned to have. It was an accident. The phrase at first sounds like it’s negative, but it’s not negative at all. In fact, it’s an incredibly positive statement. My friend Charlie hates bad deals. In the Introduction, his son Art lays out 3 lessons which not only explain the catchphrase but gives us the essence of how we need to run our “business.”

“Lesson #1: Face the facts. A truly positive outlook, one that is useful and robust, is not a Pollyanna blindness, but rather it acknowledges problems.” I’ve found that optimists don’t ignore problems. What they do is decide that they can be fixed.
The author says, “What is a deal? Everything you do is a trade. You spend time, energy and money to get things or do things. You make deals.
It’s your job, especially if you’re a leader, to turn bad deals, which are everywhere, into good deals.”

“Lesson #2: Conflict is caring. It’s not mean-spirited to point out bad deals when you see them. Confrontation shows you care. It’s a heck of a lot easier to shrug and say, ‘Whatever.'”
Charlie’s catchphrase of “That ain’t no deal” is not an attack. It doesn’t blame. It calls for you to step back and look at things differently. It is provocative (no doubt) but there is a design to Charlie saying it.”

“Lesson #3: Provoke a response. There is a safer way to say, “That ain’t no deal. You’ve heard it before: ‘There has to be a better way.’ The meanings are the same.”
As Charlie points out, though, the problem is that it is
boring. You want to elicit an emotional response from people under you if you want to rouse them to action. This is why motivational talks are so effective. When I was selling life insurance years ago, my sales manager taught me to says things that would cause prospective clients to react emotionally. It was then that people would be moved to sign that insurance application. It is true in anything we do. If you want people to move, you have to motivate them. Sometimes the best way to do that is to deal with an issue is to give them a “shock” to their emotional system. As Art concludes, he says: “Safe words are ineffective words.”

That brings to mind a big game 2 years ago. I was trying to arouse our players before the game. I told them the story of Cortez landing in Mexico with his men. He was determined that they were going to find gold. He was so committed that he left a few men on his ships with blazing torches in hand. As the army landed, Cortez yelled back at the men out in the water: “BURN THE SHIPS!” I guess my delivery was pretty impactful because I heard our players shout it a number of times the rest of that season and the season that just ended. The picture of “you can’t go back… so you better press on toward your goal” was painted in our player’s minds. A provocative catchphrase which resonated in young men’s hearts.

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