The Power of Positive Support
Basketball legend Bill Russell held his former coach Red Auerbach in the highest regard. Red had the rare ability to gain an immediate level of trust with his players and these are some of the best lessons he taught them:
Russell liked his college coach, and even credited him with doing a great job; but while his college coach may have been amicable as well as possessing strong coaching skills, those two qualities never allowed him to form a personal connection with this coach –an essential quality necessary to build trust and confidence in his/her authority.
Auerbach was completely different than Russell’s college coach. On one of Russell’s first nights as a Celtic, he committed a marginal foul. Auerbach quickly ran onto the court and began arguing with the referee. Despite Auerbach believing the call was legitimate, he still went to bat for Russell, establishing early on that he would have his back and fight for him no matter what.
In addition to Auerbach understanding the values of instilling trust and confidence in a blossoming relationship, he also employed additional life lessons in his players, always telling them to never rest on their laurels but instead to continue working towards new ones. Furthermore instead of constantly badgering them and telling them what to do at key points during the game, he instead would include them in the process of decision-making amid the huddle and encourage their help, saying things like ‘Can you control the defensive boards here? Can anyone help me get this rebound?” No wonder Auerbach became known as the “The Great Motivator” leading his team to nine World Championships over a nine year span.
When faced with a problem in life, sometimes all anyone really needs is for an individual to step up and display unconditional support. That individual is you. Coworkers, family members, employees; providing support is an important part of generating success and administering support to others induces support coming back to you. It’s a win-win situation.