Jim Calhoun, coach of the National Champion UConn Men’s Basketball team summed up the key to coaching in a nutshell: “I may not retire for another five or ten years; working with Kemba Walker has re-energized me.”
Coach Calhoun knows what every great sales coach knows: every team needs an energizer.
Superstars are great; they put butts in the seats and sell jerseys and popcorn, but it’s the energizers who keep the team going and takes the team to the championship. The energizers remind us, the coaches, why we got into this business in the first place.
When we’re winning, energizers cheer the team on and push, pull and lift the team to record highs; when the team isn’t winning, energizers remind ‘us’ that we have, we can, and we will win again.
Energizers are the heart of the team, yet not every energizer is a superstar. Instead of playing with an attitude of ‘me’, often energizers play with an attitude of ‘we’. They will assist others in closing the deal and in saving the deal. Because they are team builders, they have earned the respect, trust and loyalty of the entire organization. As coaches, you and I know that we can count on them to help reinforce the rules and the plays: we know that they will show up and be ready to play with their game face on every single day that we ask them.
Generally, the fans, i.e., the customers, rave about the energizer because the energizer provides extraordinary customer service by treating others as others want to be treated, and by choosing to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.
An energizer who is just your average journeyman ballplayer can be coached to successfully play on the first string and to produce consistent above average results. They may never be a superstar, but they will always be an All Star.
For consistent success, build your team around your energizers. Build a team of All-Stars. Trade the malcontents, the What’s In It For Me?‘s, the benchwarmers and the rest of the high-maintenance players to another team. Not only will you save your sanity, the effect of ridding your team of negative influences and prima donnas will do wonders for your sales efforts and results. In the end, when it’s all said and done, the rest of your team will thank you for doing the right thing and sending that player to another team.
Sometimes a coach needs to be more than a coach: sometimes a coach needs to be a manager.