I had the privilege of hearing Coach Mike Bianco speak in my Leadership Lafayette program.  He is the head baseball coach of the Ole Miss Rebels with a plethora of accomplishments, but now known as the coach that overcame tremendous adversity to win the national championship in 2023.  Being the “winningest coach in program history,” I’d say he carries some clout with his two cents on leadership. I wanted to share my takeaways of the skills he has learned throughout his career:

  • We need to understand that we are leading a new generation. Gen Z doesn’t need us to inform them. They have all the information they need at their fingertips and Google knows more than we do. This generation needs us to “interpret” the information for them. They need us as a moral compass. In other words, we don’t need to tell them, “what,” we need to tell them, “why.”
  • They don’t need us to be “cool.” They need us to be “real.”
  • Learn to laugh at yourself and own up to mistakes. Show vulnerability. 
  • Be self-aware.
  • Be a genuine listener.
  • You don’t “kind of” trust someone.  You either do, or you don’t. Don’t lose that trust. 
  • Gen Z’s attention span averages 8 seconds.
  • They want instant gratification and want to make a decision by, “Is it worth it?” We as leaders need to teach delayed gratification. (i.e. Would you take $3 million or a penny that doubles every day for a month?)  Spoiler alert, choose the penny that doubles every day!  It’s the compound effect. You have to work for it every single day.  Success won’t happen overnight. 
  • “Do a little lot, not a lot of little.” In other words, don’t wait last minute. Do a little bit each day.  It’s a journey. 
  • You don’t have to be great to start at something.  You have to start at something to be great.
  • Confidence is something you DO, not something you GET. 
  • Focus on body language and what you project.
  • It’s a mental game. Control what you can control right now and be present.
  • It cost nothing to be nice. Giving is contagious. 
  • You’re the average of the 5 people you hang with. Choose wisely.
  • Get away from negative people that suck energy out of you. Make them a “3-minute friend,” not a “3-hour friend.” 
  • Be consistent in your message.
  • If you truly work hard, then you’re better than 80% of the world.
  • Your team can do anything, but they can’t do everything.
  • The most successful people are good at doing things they don’t like to do.

If you want a source of inspiration, watch the documentary, “Belief”.

It was an honor, Coach B!


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