What do the Seattle Seahawks and Koné Consulting have in common?

It’s the most depressing time of year for me. The end of another NFL season is here and I’m forced to think about the long six months ahead without football.

At the beginning of the post season, I was watching Pete Carroll’s weekly press conference. For those of you who are not as in tune with the NFL as me, Carroll is the head coach of my beloved Seattle Seahawks. (Side note: I cut myself the other day and found that I do, in fact, bleed blue and green. Perhaps I should get that checked out…). At any rate, the Seahawks have many strong and diverse personalities on the team (think Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and others). During the press conference a reporter asked Coach Carroll: “You’ve let players show their personality. How does that help you as a coach or help the team… letting the players be themselves?”

Carroll’s response follows:

“We’re trying to help them be the best they can be. That guides everything we do. Whatever it takes to get that done is what we’re charged to find. And, in that, I think the person has a chance to be much closer to their potential if they get true to who they are, rather than something you might want them to be – and/or try to govern them to be. It’s simply that…if I want to find somebody’s best, I need to get them as close to what their true potential is and connect it to who they are and call on that to be consistent. It’s really hard to be something you’re not, but it’s asked of people a lot.”

You might be wondering, what does this have to do with Koné Consulting? When we go into a public services setting and are asked to provide suggestions for improvements, make the organization and/or its processes more Lean, etc., it is often the line staff, supervisors and/or managers we’re asked to guide, teach, train, etc. Finding ways to use their individual strengths to be the catalyst for improvements is what we’re charged to do – in addition to developing sustainable strategies that will keep the momentum moving ahead long after we’re gone. This is one of the fundamental principals of continuous improvement that we often sum up as, “Teaching clients to fish.”

In the spirit of practicing what we preach, this also applies to our own organization. Alicia Koné, owner and president of Koné Consulting, regularly shares that she looks at us not as a consulting firm, but as a talent agency. At Koné, we are encouraged to be true to ourselves and to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. Alicia, not much a football lover, might be surprised to know that she and Pete Carroll have such aligned philosophies about how to get the most and best from their personnel. (She will find out after this is posted!) During Carroll’s tenure, the Seahawks have reached the pinnacle of success in the professional football world (Super Bowl XLVIII Champs). We, the staff at Koné Consulting, are always trying to be our best selves and offer that to our customers – and to each other. It’s all about valuing what each individual can bring to the team to make the group stronger, more capable and more successful as a whole.

As the NFL season closes, I’ll spend time over the next six months considering ways in which I can improve and be the best person I can be. I will also look to others both inside and outside my organization, valuing their strengths and individuality, knowing I am learning and growing as I do. I encourage you to do the same. What else is there to do until football starts up again?!? :)

Find out more about Koné Consulting and what we have to offer at www.koneconsulting.com.