Not too long ago we covered the gauntlet machine snafu with the Notre Dame football team during practice. More information has come forward in the story that shows Brian Kelly should trust his more familiar and enlightened players.
The video, since removed, had Coach Kelly starting a drill but refuting players’ suggestions that they were entering the gauntlet from the wrong direction.
It showed Coach Kelly acted on his own wisdom and knowledge (or lack thereof at the time) instead of believing his players when they said they were entering the gauntlet the wrong way. Coach Kelly was substituting for the team’s running backs coach, who was absent that day – I’m betting that Coach Tony Alford would have known the difference.
But whether or not it was easy to tell if they were going the wrong direction, shouldn’t Coach Kelly have listened to his players instead of just shrugging it off?
Just because Coach Kelly is in a leadership role for the team, it doesn’t always mean he’s correct (as is demonstrated here). A good leader and a culture striving for continuous improvement and doing things better will put great value on sharing of ideas and questioning decisions not for the sake of arguing but for the greater good of the whole.
A growing culture, a Lean culture, a learning culture – they all develop trust up and down the chain of command by cultivating the understanding that there are no repercussions for trying to do what’s best for the whole by asking the right questions at the right time.