PHIL TRUAX - LEXINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
As the Activities Director of Lexington High School in Nebraska, I was given a recommendation by a colleague and close friend to check out a book called, Culture Defeats Strategy by some dude from Texas named Randy Jackson. I'd never heard of Coach Jackson, but was going through some "pains" in our athletic programs regarding finding/knowing our identity, so I took the time to check it out. That day was a "Butterfly Effect" moment for Lexington High School, and for me, personally.
After reading Coach Jackson's book, Culture Defeats Strategy part 1, I was sold! I immediately reached out to Coach Jackson via email and asked him if he could give me a discount on buying 75 books. To my surprise, Coach Jackson called me on a cell number I left in the email. We visited about leadership and he listened and tuned into the purpose that I was trying to achieve for my school and athletic department. The fact that he took the time to reach out to me personally blew my mind. Not only that, he worked with my school to give us an opportunity to buy a bulk amount of books at a price that worked for our budget. He truly went above and beyond.
Fast forward one year, and one week by week, chapter by chapter book study and weekly discussion boards regarding Culture Defeats Strategy. Lexington High School's Athletic Coaching Staff have used the strategies and lessons in Coach Jackson's book as a blueprint to begin our journey of intentionally creating and maintaining a culture of success within our programs. Coach Jackson even commented on our staff-wide email exchanges from time to time. BECAUSE of Coach Jackson, and his ability to present a "paint by numbers" strategy to building a thriving culture, we've developed the following things that have made an extremely positive impact at LHS:
1. Identified our Common Core Values, and put them in terms that we all can remember, and use on a daily basis: G.R.I.D. (Gratitude, Relationships, Integrity, Discipline)
2. Developed a Brand and/or Mantra that we pasted on apparel, posters, locker room walls, etc. "Protect the L". (Our Logo is an "L" in an oval)
3. Since the conclusion of the book study, I send a daily email that encourages our coaches in an area of maintaining the culture we've created. I call it our "Thought of the Day", and it's my version of "Fighting the Daily Fistfight" that Coach Jackson urges in his books. Typically the message stems from a quote or strategy that comes directly from Coach Jackson.
4. I've required our coaches to implement several of the strategies that we learned about in CDS, and they've paid off big time. I ask my coaches to share the results of each strategy they're implementing. Some are STOLEN DIRECTLY FROM CDS, and some are our own original ideas that were sparked by something Coach Jackson wrote about. All things have made a positive difference. Overall, our teams have experienced as much success this year as we have in the past few decades, including back to back playoff appearances in FB, State Runners up in XC, District Runners up in VB, WR, and boys BB, State Qualifier in Soccer, and we won the Nebraska Class B state Championship in Boys Track and Field.
Being from Nebraska, there is one man that is a cut above the rest when it comes to Coaching Legends, and that is Dr. Tom Osborne. Coach Jackson, in my opinion, is the "Tom Osborne" of using Culture as the backbone of his success. His expertise in creating and evolving a team's culture to drive success WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your program. Coach Jackson has a transformational mindset and is constantly looking for ways to grow. Our blessing is that he doesn't hoard his ideas. He shares his successes, and his failures, so that we ALL can learn from them, and apply to our own program strategies that WORK!
Coach Jackson is in the top 1% of influential coaches that have impacted me in my professional life. I encourage you to get connected with him and his products. You'll be satisfied with what that collaboration will bring.
Lexington High School