Last month, a group of 72 athletic administrators from across the state came together for the first of 10 InSideOut Team cohort sessions. Joe and I facilitated the day of personal reflection, and are excited to see this team grow as leaders in administering purpose-based athletic programs.
Here’s a recap of what we discussed:
The impetus: Joe started the day by sharing insights on how and why the InSideOut Initiative began. In part, the InSideOut Initiative started as a response to an increase in domestic violence issues among NFL players. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell commissioned a task force that included Joe to discuss ways of using interscholastic sports as a platform for coaching character. As Joe told Roger, you can teach character but it can’t be learned unless it’s modeled—and athletic programs can never be purpose-driven unless space is created in the culture for leaders to be held to standards beyond the scoreboard.
Hardwired to connect: Jody shared a study commissioned by 33 professionals on mental health issues among today’s youth. Experts found the root cause to be a lack of deep connections to adults. Purpose-based athletic programs can and should provide students with meaningful connections to adult role models and mentors.
To be a better leader, you have to be a better you: Joe asked the athletic directors in the room to look inside and challenge their acquired ego, inner judge and critic. The group learned about the messages we’ve all been given our whole lives by our friends, parents, coaches, and the media. The athletic directors then had a chance to discuss their true nature’s basic needs (belonging, belief system, base community).
Athletic administration is relational: Leaders who develop powerful, purposeful and productive relationships inspire greater productivity, career growth, innovation, and overall employee performances. With this in mind, the athletic directors in the room were asked to give the gift of a blessing to each other or to request a blessing from another athletic director.
This team will regroup in August at U.S. Bank Stadium to continue learning and growing together to create purpose-based sports programs and to encourage and nurture transformational coaches.
Interested in learning more? Find out what we’re up to here.