A super powered organization is a group of people who, because of shared values, achieve exponentially more than they would otherwise do as individuals. These organizations share four common traits, and you can use the acronym “CAPE” to remember these. Super powered organizations are Challenging, Accepting, Purposeful and Encouraging.
In this article, I will discuss the second trait super powered organizations, that they are Accepting.
While it is true that these organizations have an expectation of excellence, it is also true that these group have tremendous patience for people and their shortcomings. People are treated with dignity and respect and are not judged solely on what they can do for the others in the group. Leaders in these organizations are constantly reminding members of the value they bring to the group yet they do not expect those members to be perfect. Concern, affection and admiration are expressed freely and openly and those expressions are met with a loyalty that can only grow through the appreciation that comes from being accepted.
The attitude is the one that says, “You believed in me so I am going to show you now that you did not believe in vain.”
John Velarde is the coach of the St. John University football team in Collegeville, Minnesota. For more than 50 years, Velarde has lead his team, the “Johnnies”, out onto the field to play. One of the things that sets coach Velarde apart is that you do not have to be recruited, or even try out, to be on his team. If you want to play, show up on the first day of practice and give everything you have got and you are on the team. No tryouts and on top of that, nobody ever gets cut. Everybody is accepted regardless of talent. Because of that the roster routinely has more than 150 players on it.
You might be wondering, how good of a team they are? In 2003 John Velarde passed the legendary Eddie Robinson to become the coach with the most wins in the history of college football with his 409th victory. On top of that, the “Johnnies” and Velarde earned their fourth NCAA division three national championship in 2003.
His acceptance of the players and their dreams to play college football and the respects he shows them by never yelling at them or working them like dogs inspires the kind of loyalty that most coaches try to force out of their players.
Acceptance can do remarkable thing to an organization. To your organization, it can take ordinary group of people and empower them to do extraordinary things, super powered things. How can you model acceptance to the people in your organization? Start today by letting people know that they are valuable to you as people, human beings not human doings.