What Pete Carroll can teach us about life, careers and ourselves

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by New Day Producers

KING5.com

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 11 at 9:37 AM

One of the most impressive qualities of our Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks is the comraderie the team has - the family spirit that has extended all the way to the 12th Man!

And one of the people most responsible for that is Head Coach Pete Carroll. 

Life Coach Elise Touchette is here to explain what can we learn about ourselves, about careers and life, from his approach to people.

How you can create your own championship success

The road to the Super Bowl XLVIII Championship has been a wild one.  It took hundreds of people in the Seahawks organization to make it happen this season, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of fans (12th Man!) who got involved along the way.  While we might not all long to be Super Bowl Champions, we can have championship success in our lives when we honor WHO we are and WHY we are here.

With all the media coverage of the Seahawks success, one person stands out the most to me when it comes to leading the team through this exciting season and that is head coach Pete Carroll. Let's explore Carroll's journey to the Super Bowl through Simon Sinek's model of The Golden Circle.  

When it comes to The Golden Circle, WHY is at the heart of it.  WHY and purpose are one in the same. A couple of great articles from the Seattle Times and Sports Illustrated do a great job of exploring Carroll's career and philosophy. Based on these articles and all the interviews he has given lately, it is apparent that Coach Carroll is clear about his WHY and HOW he goes about living it.  This WHY is like a seed that was planted before he even came into the world. It is his assignment while he is here. It isn't one particular accomplishment, it is an ongoing reason for being here. If I could be so bold as to take a stab at articulating Carroll's WHY, I'd say that it might go a little something like this:

Helping people improve their lives and achieve great things by providing opportunities to show the world who they are at their best.

This idea of bringing out the best in others is a pattern in Carroll's professional life. It is something people recognize in him and it is something they talk about when they talk about him.  It's something he talks about as well.

Carroll also seems to have embraced his own unique way of going after fulfilling his purpose. In the Golden Circle, this is called his HOW.  All it takes is watching Carroll on the sidelines during a game to know how excitable, motivating, relentless and inspiring he is. He doesn't hold back on any of this. He knows it is a critical part of who he is and he leads with those traits. 

Another part of his HOW is is his ability to adapt his style to the person in front of him. Super Bowl Media week really highlighted all the diverse personalities on the team. Carroll "gets" each of those personalities and values his players as individuals. This is what invites them in to be a part of something bigger than themselves. For all the ego in the NFL, there was exponentially more "we" talk from the Seahawks players than there was "me" talk.  Carroll was able to bring all of these individual together as a team.

 

Another component of his HOW is his willingness to look beyond a player's past. He takes chances on people. He doesn't let someone's past define who they are or who they could be. This shows up not only in his professional life, but in his philanthropic work as well.

When your WHY is clear and your HOW is known and trusted, WHAT (the final part of the Golden Circle) you do doesn't matter too much so long as it is enhancing your WHY.  Carroll's WHAT just happens to be coaching in the NFL. Coaching in the college system at the University of Southern California and creating his non-profits (A Better LA and A Better Seattle)  also enhanced his WHY.  WHAT he was doing didn't matter as long as it helped him live his purpose. 

But something magical happened when he came to Seattle. He had been clarifying his WHY and HOW while coaching at USC. When we get clear on our WHY and our HOW, we eventually start to put words to it and share it with others through our words and actions. This is when our WHY and HOW become a magnet that attracts the people and resources we need to live our purpose at it's highest level. This is what Carroll did. He got clear on his WHY and his HOW. His WHAT was coaching at USC and his non-profit A Better LA. He was living his purpose and that attracted the Seahawks. Once he was with the Hawks, he was able to be a magnet to help attract the right talent to the team in terms of players, coaches and staff. He had words for his WHY. People saw HOW he lived his WHY and wanted to be a part of it.  And they all came together and became a magnet that attracted even more loyal followers to the crazy base of fans known as the 12th Man.  And all of this resulted in a group of talented, passionate and unique individuals reaching the heights of achievement in their profession.

As you can see, this is some crazy powerful stuff.  You too have clues in your past that point to your WHY and HOW. Dig into where you've been at your best, when you felt like you couldn't be stopped and when you felt on top of the world. These are the pieces to the puzzle that forms your WHY.  Pay attention and honor who you are when you are at your best. This is your HOW. When you can be clear about what these are and start living them more purposefully, you too will begin to attract the people you need to live out your purpose to it's fullest.

And that's exactly what the world needs is YOU at your best, living life on purpose.

Elise Touchette is a Purpose and Leadership Coach in the Seattle area. She works with individuals and teams to embrace who they are at their best and helps them clarify their purpose so they can join up with others to make great things happen in the world. Agile, fun and direct, Elise has a variety of tools and methods she taps into to help clients achieve this clarity. She lives in the Seattle area and is married, with one good dog and one bad dog (but love both of them equally).  You can contact Elise in a number of ways:  e-mail - Elise@SALCoaching.com      phone:  206-909-2117        web:  www.ShineALightCoaching.com

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