Coach Paul Assaiante knows the importance of building solid, efficient teams that create championship winners, on and off the court. Most companies focus on the team, the metrix, and the measurables. His focus is on the individuals, because when individuals put others first, when they are challenged to be the very best they can be, each and every day, then the team wins and the organization’s bottom-line soars. Paul often says that “life is like a spider web,” we are all connected and have a responsibility to engage in positive ways that lift each other up. This karmic connection creates a swirl of energy that cannot fail. Paul Assaiante is a US National coach and is known for his unique achievement as the “winningest coach in college sports history,” winner of 17 NCAA Championship titles at Trinity College. He shares his experience and lessons of building championship teams in his book, “Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear.” Paul brings together the best players from around the world and demonstrates how teammates from diverse cultures can unite to build a winning team. As Paul consults with companies and speaks around the world, he understands now, more than ever, that the commonality between sports and business is competition.
Leadership Strategies that Build Winning Cultures
Coaching a U.S. Gold Medal squash team isn’t that much different then leading a winning team in a business environment. Coach Paul Assaiante believes that a MACRO and MICRO plan needs to be developed and implemented for successful teams to move together, in the same direction. Life is about building railroad tracks. You must decide where you want to go…a destination (MACRO plan) and then you need to get down on your hands and knees and begin laying down railroad ties one by one (MICRO plan). Periodically one needs to stand up and decide if you still want the same destination and decide whether or not you are on right track.
Championship Cultures (What does that really mean)?
Many companies are focused on “culture!” If it is weak, how can we improve it? If it is solid, how do we maintain it? This is especially an issue for large companies where continual and ongoing communication is difficult. Successful cultures start with one person at a time. It’s best to focus on each and every persons ability to empathize and to care about others. Once you bring the group together, and create a spider web of concern, then overall culture can in fact improve. Yes, I have spent most of my career in sports. But now I consult companies, and speak around the world, what I have come to understand is that the commonality between sports and business is competition. If you can learn to be comfortable with and succeed in competitive spaces, then you can in fact be the master of both.
Run to the Roar: Identifying and Facing the Fears that Block Success
Based on his book, Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear, Coach Assaiante encourages people to free themselves from the chains of fear, so success and the joy of the journey can be realized. Assaiante details how teams can be strengthened through empathy and by nurturing a positive, forward-thinking attitude. Attendees gain insight to his guiding principles “the awesome power of now” and “love wins.” Audiences are inspired to:
- Give everything they have – every day
- To be the best they can be – every day
- Negotiate through change and make the right decisions
- Identify and face the fears that block their success
Imagine the huge impact that can be created when a group of people embrace these concepts! What championship awaits your team?
Keys to Teamwork: Inspiring and Motivating High Performers
Recognizing that egos can sometimes be a distraction from the overall goal, he inspires a sense of family among his players. Coach explains that, “to succeed as a group, the individuals truly need to buy into the concept that they are a member of a family where all the family members must have each other’s backs. You must give all, and never give into the moment, because your teammates are driving through for you.” Through storytelling and a note of humor, Coach Assaiante inspires winning teams and audiences with the following messages:
- Individuals do not win, the team wins
- Individuals each have a role, but all to contribute to the greater good
- Get more out of each individual by focusing on the team
- Create a sense of ownership, it is essential for leadership loyalty
- When a group is put through adversity, they become more unified
- Being part of a team means holding your teammates accountable for their performance
Raising Balanced Kids in a Pressurized Society: For Educators, Parents and Students
Educators and coaches have a unique opportunity to guide and mentor young people into productive adulthood. Coach Assaiante has directly impacted many students’ lives through his successful coaching principles. In this talk, Coach Assaiante gives a brutally honest lecture on how today’s high pressure environment affects our kids and what parents and educators can do to help manage the delicate balance between:
- Controlling vs. letting kids take ownership of their journey
- Motivating vs. pushing
- Rescuing vs. letting kids fail
Strengthening Teams Through Diversity
Paul has built his winning success by recruiting and coaching squash players from around the world who possess the drive and passion to be part of his winning team. Each year, he brings together athletes from different nationalities, religions, and cultures to form a bonded team of national champions. In this lecture, audiences learn the importance of:
- Cultural diversity in building strong teams
- Understanding cultural sensitivities
- Collaboration among team members
“Paul spoke to our business group which consisted of 40+ presidents of companies and their spouses. I’ve been involved with this group for about five years and have heard dozens of leadership-focused speakers…Paul is the best speaker I’ve heard to date. He blended wisdom, wit, humor and gravitas in a way that few can. The audience was rapt with his messages about career accomplishment and personal failings, and the powerful lessons learned from both. Many times an impressive resume doesn’t translate to public speaking success. Paul is an exception. It’s no accident that he’s the winningest coach in college sports’ history. I give him my highest recommendation.”
“I had Coach Assaiante speak at our Annual MarquisJet Sales Meeting in NYC a few years ago. Coach was one of the best speakers that we’ve ever had, and we’ve had some great ones! He connected with our folks on many levels (professional/personal/spiritual) and his simple delivery made it easy for Coach’s message to stick with our folks well beyond the meeting.
Coach’s life’s journey, with its twists, turns, speed bumps, and victories, had everyone on the edge of their seats. The hour we booked ended up not being enough time, and Coach Assaiante graciously gave us an additional 30 minutes of Q&A! I’d give him a 10-out-of-10 in terms of delivering what we were looking for!”
“I have twice asked Paul to speak before groups that mattered to me. Once before an entire high school community and once before active and retired career professionals from a wide variety of industries…certainly an experienced and discerning group. The reception Paul was given in both instances was, quite simply, overwhelming. He is a unique individual as to background and record of achievement, and he combines it with an oratory delivery that is captivating and clear. He carries himself with grace and humility. I have heard numerous speakers on leadership in my career. Paul would be at the top of my list of speakers.”