Just read an article on Mike Babcock, head coach for the Detroit Red Wings, the point is, it doesn’t matter what he does as living. The point is about the way he approaches his job, he treats his position as an executive, he takes pride in developing his people.
So from the article, I see three things that are important with him, and in extension, important to excel at any position
1) Confidence: He’s not afraid to develop his assistants, he develops them knowing that they can take over his job, in fact, that is what his goal is. He is confident enough about his ability, he knows it does not matter if he loses his job to one of his subordinates, the important thing is: He is better when his subordinates get better, and when that happens, there is no need to worry about his job because he is always getting better at it.
2) Preparation: As Babcock challenges his assistants to bring new ideas every day, he challenges them to be fully prepared about their solution. Unlike what we see in most corporate jobs, he doesn’t just dismiss an idea, he expects his assistants to debate with him, challenge him and bring him new perspective.
“One of the things that I discovered is that it’s almost like being a lawyer,” McLellan said. “Create a case and show him why something different might work. As soon as you gain his trust he’s very open to ideas and thoughts. He wants to be debated with.”
That is how anyone should approach their job, be prepared to defend your reasoning. You can’t just say something sucks without a thorough analysis, it only makes the intended audience mad, but if you have reasoning and thorough analysis, you have their respect.
3) Hire people who you trust, and trust them
Babcock goes through the background of every candidate he is interested in, and only hires them when he knows absolutely certain they can be great NHL coaches
“I’m not looking for the best interview,” Babcock said. “I’m looking for the best coach.”
Whereas in corporates, we see a lot of emphasis on acing the interview, and when hired, learning how not to work too hard such that management always hold you on one position.
Let them grow, and make allies with them when they leave. The analogy would be how secretive a corporation is and how afraid they are about developing their employees because they don’t want the employees to compete with them after they leave. I strongly suggest looking at Mike Babcock: They flourish together even when they work for different teams.
Anyone can learn a lot from this guy.