Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 29: Developing a New Culture Through Leadership with Kane Ioane.
Get to Know Kane
Our guest today attended Montana State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. While there he was a 4 year letter winner in football. He was also named to the First Team All Americans in 2003 for his exceptional play at Safety.
The Start of His Football Coaching Career
After graduation he began coaching football. He spent 13 years as an Assistant Football Coach for Montana State including stints as Co-Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. As a player and coach, he helped MSU win six conference titles.
The Move To University of Washington
Earlier this year, he became the Assistant Football Coach specializing in Defensive Quality Control at the University of Washington. He now coaches with Coach Chris Petersen, who is one of the most sought after coaches in college football.
Let Podcasting Begin!
In addition to his football career, he is also a fellow podcaster. He and his brother, Kip, started the “Cross the Stream” podcast this summer and I have to say I am an avid listener.
My Connection with Kane
I have a long-time friendship with our guest today. We both grew up in Billings, MT and went to junior high and high school together. We also had several of the same classes and played on some of the same football teams. Our guest today is Kane Ioane. Kane, welcome to the show!
Networking for Success
Networking for success is about what you know AND who you know. Through Kane’s hard work and networking, he earned the opportunity to coach at the University of Washington with Coach Chris Petersen. His experience proved that you must work hard to be the best at what you do. You must also develop strong personal connections with your team and others in your field. That develops camaraderie and enlarges your support network for success in the future.
“Networking skills pertain to every field. You have to have those people skills. It doesn’t do you any good if you are really good at something, but no one likes you!” If you are not liked, people won’t want to hear what you have to say. “If you have those personal skills and you’re able to connect with people, it opens up doors for you.”
Developing a New Culture Through Your Leadership
Kane went through two defining experiences that helped him learn the importance of developing a new culture through leadership.
From Teammate to Coach
He went from being a football player at MSU one year, to being a coach the following year. Kane went from sharing the locker room to being the mentor and leader.
This transition is very applicable to any working environment. “If you’re a boss or manager, you want to be able to separate yourself from the rest of the employees, while still having connections with those employees. Have an after work drink or go to lunch with your employees, but still maintain that separation of manager and friend.” It is important to be able to separate yourself to make appropriate leadership decisions while still maintaining the connections with others.
Assistant Coach to Co-Defensive Coordinator
Kane was given the task of turning the defense around. The goal was to be more successful. In this transition, Kane had to again put himself in a different role. Coaches that were essentially his peers were now answering to him. He was now in their “manager/boss”.
Developing the New Culture
There were some key takeaways that helped him develop the new culture:
- Get everyone on the same page
- Speak the same language
- Have the same goals
- Identify the values and principles you will follow
So how do you do that? You can lead by your example. Bring people together to talk about the culture. Discuss in groups what the core values will be and how they will be implemented and followed. “Make sure first and foremost that [everyone] is on the same page, speaking the same language, and building that culture.” Everything will grow from the culture you develop.
The Speed Round
- Who is the one leader you look up to most and why? My dad who is a long time teacher and coach. He taught me the importance of respect and humility. My older brother, Kip, who is the head basketball coach at Willamette University. He is never afraid to step out and be uncomfortable. He is also never afraid of confrontation.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Greatness is a choice. Anybody out there can be great. All you gotta do is be willing to put in the work and put in the time. Ultimately, it is the desire and the choice to be great and you can go out and get it done.
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? Preparing for success. You can learn from everything in life. The good, the bad, and the above. You can store them away as information you can use for later on to help you be successful when something else comes up. Preparing whether it be a 15 minute presentation, meeting with players, this podcast or whatever it is, I’ve gotta prepare. Prepare for success!
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson because it talks about how all the little habit forming activities turn into big things.
- On a light-hearted note, what is your favorite hobby? Golf. My dad got me into it at a young age. Also, finding new books and new things.
Connect With Kane
What’s the best way to connect with Kane?
- Twitter: @IoaneNoQuestion
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kioane
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cross The Stream Podcast
One Final Question
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first started your leadership journey, what would it be and why? Don’t be afraid of confrontation. That is always something that leaders and young people in particular struggle with; stepping out of your comfort zone and getting uncomfortable at times. Sometimes that means confronting whatever it is that may be, and not being afraid to voice your opinion. Be strong and understand that as a leader, there are times where you have to be uncomfortable.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!