The Culture Journey Week #13 – The Elephant in the Room

Week 13
Meeting #5 with Coaching coach – The Elephant in the Room
Had our fifth meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the fourth chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann. In this chapter Joe discusses the 3 big lies being told to our boys about what it means to be a masculine man and the 3 big lies being told to our girls about what it means to be a feminine woman. I heard Joe speak 8 years ago and this was the message that stuck with me. We had an interesting discussion on these, it seems easy for coaches to confuse being competitive with having your identity tied to your success on the ballfield or in the boardroom. Teaching our kids to be competitive and strive for greatness is a great thing and we should be doing this as a coach. But teaching them that we will change our value of them based on their performance and success can be very destructive. Don’t know if all the coaches in our meeting totally bought into this lesson but it definitely sparked some interesting conversation and hopefully we will all be processing this and thinking through it going forward.
Scott also led us through an interesting activity around discussing the proverbial elephant in the room. Scott had us all draw a picture of an elephant on a blank piece of paper. My artwork ability was definitely the worst in the room. Then Scott led a discussion around every coaching staff having some elephants in the room around what’s going on with the dynamics on that staff and the leadership of that team. He asked us to each think about what our staff’s elephants in the room were, then to write done the primary one inside of our elephant. Mine is attached. I really struggled with being honest in mine, but I said a quick prayer then just went for it. Mine was ‘We are all afraid of Tom(the head coach.)’ Some of the other coaches’ statements were about the team not playing hard or caring very much, skepticism, and our inability to win. But mine was much more internal to us as a staff. Tom immediately acknowledged that my statement didn’t surprise him and he knows he comes across that way, yet he somewhat feels that is part of being the leader. It opened up a very interesting discussion and hopefully we can keep being honest with each other and learning how to improve how we work as a staff.
We’ll be off for the next few weeks with the holidays so look for the next post the first week in January where we’ll be looking into chapters 5 and 6 from the book, and I’m sure so more activities from Scott to stretch our comfort zones. 🙂

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at [email protected] if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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