This Coach’s Uncommon Response Reminds Us of an Important Leadership Lesson

Anyone who has watched a college basketball game knows the team who is playing at home typically has an enormous home court advantage. The situation was no different on February 27th, when the Virginia Tech Hokies were locked in a tight battle with the number five ranked Duke Blue Devils. The student section was doing what most student sections do and was in rare form.

But it wasn’t the type of rare form Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams wanted. Without hesitation, he grabbed the microphone and killed the buzz with a message to the student section. many times in the history of college basketball has this happened? Most likely never. Here’s why it’s so important and Wiliams taught us all an important leadership lesson.

Regardless of the circumstances, doing what’s right is always right.

While most would argue the student’s behavior at college sporting events; cursing at referees, making up chants to make fun of opposing players, or burning couches after a big win is just part of the culture, Willams would argue, wrong is wrong.

As a leader, it’s a lesson that seems so simple on the surface but when we actually look at the sheer amount of decisions we make every day you start to see how important this lesson is. The minute you start to cut corners or make decisions that put your business or life in gray areas it becomes a slippery slope.

There is also a byproduct of doing what’s right is always right and it almost never seems to fail.  You could call it karma, fate, or blessings good things happen to you in return when you do the right thing.  In the case of Williams, the karma happened immediately.

After Williams shocking response to the crowd, his basketball team responded with an 8-3 run in the final three minutes of the game to shock the Blue Devils and pick up a huge win for the program.

So the next time you are wrestling with doing right and wrong with the thousands of decisions you will make this week, choose the example Williams set and always do what is right, regardless if it’s popular.

This article originally appeared on Inc.com.

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About the Author John Eades is one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace. He is the CEO of LearnLoft, host of the Follow My Lead Podcast and author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and the upcoming book “The Welder Leader.”

You can follow him on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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