By Michael McCauley Pete Carroll, head football coach at University of Southern California, was featured on 60 Minutes recently.  You can watch it here. As I watched, it struck me that Pete Carroll is the embodiment of the “Positive Leadership” that Kim Cameron talks about in his book of the same name. Kim Cameron’s positive climate, positive relationships, positive communications, and positive meaning – as the pillars of positive organizational change – are embodied, really, by Pete Carroll. Carroll creates a positive climate within his team: “I keep thinking day-to-day that something good is about to happen. I don’t know how to think otherwise.” Carroll prepares his players to win. He believes that “the best players don’t always win – the players that play the best do. That’s why we focus so much on practicing so much better than anyone else has ever practiced before!” It’s an upbeat and optimistic view – of personal and organizational possibilities, and of the world. In contrast to traditional coaches, Carroll doesn’t tear down his players; he builds them up. If he gets tough on a player (this is shown in the video), he reengages him almost immediately, taking advantage of what educators know as the “teachable moment” ro reinforce what is positive in the player. Mistakes are used for learning. Pete Carroll is driven by a higher purpose than merely winning. He believes that his life work is teaching young people to seize every opportunity and make the most of it. He practices this approach with his team at USC and in the Los Angeles community at large. He spends time talking and working with at-risk youth in the poorest parts of LA,  has started a non-profit, “A Better LA,” to create and nurture a climate of meaning for himself and those he coaches and teaches.]]>

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