Are you inspiring your team to pull in the right direction?


Ed Orgeron is the head coach of the Louisiana State University football team.

He comes off as a rough, tough guy from Southern Louisiana and is not counted routinely among the elite coaches in the game.  He doesn’t exude the same polish or articulate the complexity many coaches describe.

But currently they are the fourth ranked team in the country, and, in a recent interview, his players describe why he’s effective.

It comes down to the fact that he has more charisma than most and inspires them to play well.  And, he has way savvier then he is credited.

Here’s a story from the interview in The Athletic, an on-line sports zine.  Orgeron got the job after LSU fired Coach Les Miles mid-season.

“The initial team meeting we had where the torch was passed from Les Miles to Coach Orgeron, he got this huge long rope and just had everybody — coaching staff, players — grab it. We basically did tug of war.  And then after a while he had everyone get on the rope and pull in the same direction. Basically, he was just casting a vision for how powerful of a force we could be if we all pull in the same direction.  From that moment on, he’s been setting LSU up for success.”

Orgeron was slated to be an interim coach until a better, more suitable coach could be hired.  But he turned the team fortunes around and they decided to give him a chance full time.

The lesson of the rope shouldn’t be lost on us.

When things aren’t going well in our operations, you usually find some people pulling one direction while others pull another.  And, in the confusion, there are those holding the rope who haven’t decided which way to pull.

Inspiration and setting direction are critical leadership skills and responsibilities.  Is your team all pulling in the right direction?  If not, what are you doing about it?