Connectivity Source
7780 Brier Creek Parkway Suite 225
Raleigh, NC   27617
Work 919-781-4186
Fax 866-819-7901
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Coach's Corner

---Scott Langdon

Over the past 5 years I have been coaching, teaching, and assisting young men develop the necessary skills needed for their adult development. I am currently certified with AAU and USA hockey and coach at the 12U and 14U age travel levels. I have been extremely fortunate to have coached some of the top youth inline and ice hockey players / teams in the Southeast.

Over time, I created a simple list of guidelines that were developed specifically to assist me in coaching. But to my amazement, I have found them to be even more effective as a small business owner in the highly competitive telecomunnications industry.

Here are 6 simple guideline that I hope you find as beneficial and effective with your business as I have.

1: This month's guideline: Always tell it like it is- young men are extremely adept at realizing the situation they are about to face and appreciate a non sugar coated reality. If we are about to face a team that is clearly more proficient in vital key aspects, I tell them just that. I don't sugar coat it or tell them this should be an easy win..etc..... In relation to telecom, I found doing the same with a customer to be highly effective. If your selling a carrier that has difficulty porting numbers, let the customer know that upfront. If a carrier is merging and you potentially foresee a slow install, inform them of the potential pitfall ahead of time.

Again, always tell it like it is and they will appreciate you for it in the long run.

2: This month's guideline: Set a season Goal and develop a plan to get there. I am constantly amazed that 90% of coaches don't develop a season plan. They have played hockey for so long and know the sport so well that they neglect the importance of developing a simple plan and wonder why at season end their team isn't achieving its full potential.   In the business world, I have made the same mistake and have personally been one of those 90% coaches. The simplicity of setting a simple year end goal is easy and often taken for granted. The strategic direction that a goal forces you to focus on can help your company get from point A to B. A simple goal and plan will often assist in eliminating any wonderment when December rolls around why you find your company still at point A.

Set a goal and develop a plan to get there. 

3 :This month's guideline: Don't be afraid to take the more difficult path.  Parents often fret when we play up an age group or level (ex. AA playing AAA).  In most cases, you get your tail spanked.  But these are often some of the best teaching / learning moment for kids. They see and experience the game from a different perspective and obtain an ideological grasp on what we are coaching and what needs to be achieved to be successful.  It is very similar as a small business owner.  To be successful, you often have to step out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes learning and deploying new methods or products can lead to failure on a specific task but it often helps enlighten both you and your business yielding greater growth and even potentially providing better solutions for your customers.

Don't hesitate to take a challenge simply because you might fail at it

4: This month's guideline:  Inspire Excellence.  One of the hardest but essential aspects to perform as a coach or business owner is to inspire excellence among the members of your team.  This can often be achieved through simple acts of delegation.  Delegating important responsibilities encourages, inspires and often facilitates a more energized and proficient team member. Delegate what needs to be done, believe in their abilities to accomplish it, and let them be creative in their methods to achieve it. Delegating key roles and responsibilities demonstrates that you possess confidence in their ability.  Often, the bigger the responsibility the harder they will work to substantiate your belief.  If they give 100% and fail, be prepared to take the heat; as you don't want to discourage any future efforts.  But if they succeed, publically give them the entire honor.

 As an Owner, Coach, Parent, it is important that you constantly inspire your team members to achieve by providing them the opportunities to excel.

5: This month's guideline: Success is built from differences: To build a successful team it is vital that you incorporate multiple play styles and personalities within your team. In Hockey, everyone always assumes the team possessing the most flashy goal scorers automatically wins. But that's not true. A successful team is comprised of many different personalities. You have to have Grinders, Dishman, Defensemen, and Goal Scorers to be successful. In business, a team of flashy account execs is great, but your business will not be successful until all vital roles are filled. Quotes, order processing, Account Mgmt, just to name a few, can be vital to the success of your business and it's important to fulfill those roles with differing personalities. Having a bunch a similar yes men can stifle growth and even lead you down the wrong path. Fulfilling each vital area and Incorporating different personalities is imperative to success.

As you build your business, build it like a team.

6: This month's guideline; schedule out of office fun events.  As a hockey coach, you are always looking forward to the first away tournament.  When you are out of town and on the road.  The parents have dinner and drinks together.  The player swim, go to the movies, and just all hang out.  It forces the players to develop a relationship and understanding of their teammates outside the rink.  They become compadre's , not just co-workers, wanting and helping each other to succeed for the benefit of the team.  As business owners, we often find ourselves caught up in the day to day activities and neglect this important facet of business.   Take a Friday afternoon off with your team and go to the movies, play paintball, Golf ect.  One of the best team building events I have experienced was when we challenged a rival agency in game of flag football.  It was extremely fun and it forced us to communicate as a team.  At Connectivity Source, we are decent with scheduling outside of work activities but we still need to make time to do even more of it.  It pays enormous dividends, almost immediately, to your bottom line. A colleague once told me,

"it's important to work hard and to play hard as a team."


Coach Scott Langdon

Raleigh Speed