Taking a page out of parenting five boys
Over the past 15 years, I have been extremely impressed by the time management and accountability that my wife has implemented in our home with our five boys. (Yes, we have FIVE active, busy, yet amazing boys!). Their ages range from three to 14, and each has responsibilities within our home. Miraculously, she manages her time as well as theirs, and finds ways to hold each of them accountable for their respective chores, homework and extracurricular activities. She does this with or without me around.
Recently, I was preparing for a 12-day road trip and asked her if she was sure she would be okay without me. Her reply was simple and modest as usual, “Of course, it’s actually easier most of the time not having you here! The kids and I have our system, and it helps when you aren’t distracting us!” I was floored and my ego suffered a bit of a blow, but I wasn’t that surprised. Here’s why: my wife has learned that each boy, despite their age or personality, has respective duties, and she finds or develops ways of encouraging, motivating and even doling out consequences for lack of performance.
Okay, so what do my wife and kids have to do with player development?
I have met with a variety of player development teams of varying sizes across the country. There seem to be two main challenges that I consistently see, regardless of the size or amount of resources committed to player development: time management and accountability. Here is the correlation: each of my kids is not going to perform their chores and responsibilities the same, and likewise, not every host is going to perform the same. For my wife, our kids’ ages and talents drastically affect their abilities and performance. For player development, whether it be because of talent or experience, each host will have varying strengths and weaknesses.
Here are four things you can do to improve the team’s time management while still holding them accountable:
1. Establish a baseline
Evaluate each of your team members, what they are good at, what they struggle with. How many calls, emails, text messages and face-to-face interactions do they make on a daily or weekly basis? Establish a baseline as of today for each individual host and the team as a whole. This will assist you later in tracking their progress and ultimately holding each individual host accountable.
2. Create a road map
Design specific goals and responsibilities for each individual host and for the team. You may choose to start with your team goal and work backwards. Divide up the responsibilities based on each individual host’s ability to perform their job. This may include providing a daily task list for certain team members. You likely have some hosts who are better at making phone calls, and others who are better at face-to-face engagements. Have them work with and learn from each other. My 14-year-old doesn’t require the same amount of management oversight to clean his room as my six or nine-year-old. Regardless, my wife has mastered ways to motivate and inspire each in their respective areas. (I hope you aren’t hiring child labor, but hopefully you get where I’m going here …). My 14-year-old is motivated by money, and my younger boys are motivated by playtime.
3. Give them space
I have yet to meet anyone who likes to be micromanaged. Once you set the expectations, give them some room to perform. You may need to “check in” more frequently with some vs. others. If you notice a host who is not spending any time in the office making phone calls or sending emails, and you know they struggle to hit their goals, you might nudge or remind them. You can’t leave a six-year-old alone for more than 10, maybe 15 minutes without reminding him of what he is supposed to be working on! The flip side is that you likely have hosts who you can give the entire month to perform, while others will need to report on a weekly or semiweekly basis.
4. Hold them accountable
In my experience, this is one of the most challenging aspects of any manager’s responsibility in player development. The accountability process is much easier once you have goals set (a set number of calls to be made, steak house reservations or rooms to fill). Once you set the precedent (goals outlined), it makes the follow-up conversation flow so much better. Instead of referencing situations, you can reference the numbers. “Hey, Bill, it looks like you were making 25 calls per week last month, and you’re pacing to make 35 calls per week this month. Great job, keep it up!”
There’s a lot more to time management and accountability for player development. Do your hosts really call everyone on their list? Do they pick their favorite players or call the same players month after month? Do you struggle to know exactly where your team is at? If these questions resonate with you, then you aren’t alone. For more information on Raving’s full-service player development training program, give Amy Hergenrother a call at 775-329-7864 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.