You can learn a lot about a coach when he / she walks off the field after a heartbreaking loss. I have great admiration for Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and after losing the Super Bowl I was quite impressed by how Coach Tomlin conducted himself. Clearly the Steelers, my favorite team, were beaten by a better opponent, and Mike Tomlin gave credit to the Green Bay Packers while also refusing to wallow in self pity.
Coach Tomlin believes the standard is the standard. We set standards for performance and behavior and those standards do not change due to adversity. And you can tell a lot about someone when he or she faces adversity.
Consider what you expect from your team. What do you believe are the non-negotiable standards in your practice and how do you, the leader, embody those standards? What about when you face disappointment and adversity: do you handle the situation with the same great attitude you expect from your team? Do your actions mirror your expectations for others?
Leadership is about doing; it’s about consistent actions that align with our values. All leaders face adversity, and sometimes it feels like we get more than our fair share of challenges. But when the going gets tough, please remember: the standard is the standard.