A message from Rugby ATL’s General Manager and Head Coach Scott Lawrence on what it means to live at PACE.

Living at PACE

For the last 17 years, I’ve held two jobs as both a software executive for Accenture then Oracle,  and what most would consider a “full-time” coaching roles with Life University, the USA Rugby National Teams, and RugbyATL.  Now, add in 3 children, 40,000 miles per year on the road, 4-hour sleep nights and it’s the perfect cocktails for a life controlled chaos.

Sound familiar?

Reflecting on these past years, I’m very grateful for the flywheel effect rugby coaching, corporate leadership, and parenting has all had on each other. Each avenue has had a developmental impact on me and with practice, allowed me to help software developers, executives, players, and coaches move closer to the best version of themselves.

Until the formation of RugbyATL, I hadn’t truly appreciated all of the lessons learned and how they would apply in an entirely new way.  In its infancy, with like-minded people, we sat down and built a simple model to run our business. We decided to be unique and establish the first franchise in Major League Rugby to build itself on core values.

The acronym P.A.C.E. is what came out of those conversations and PACE represents our actions and behaviors inside and outside of rugby and the sports business environment.  More importantly, PACE is the lens through which we view all of our important decisions.

P is for developing People

A is for embracing Accountability

C is for Create Change

E for focus on Execution

PACE is a mindset of giving the gift of making others around you successful. It’s accepting reality instead of your own biased feelings.  It’s owning your actions, looking for ways to not just accept and adapt to change but to be the catalyst for that change. Finally, it’s being a person of your word and who executes what you commit to.

PACE applies in all of the environments I live in; sport, technology, and most importantly at home.

These values really kick into action with developing new, creative initiatives. Now, more than ever is a wonderful time to create change for your business in a way that invests in pain now for results later.

Two specific things were started in week 2 of our shut down.  First, at RugbyATL, we decided to kick off  Pathway 404 and launch a U19 program with two of our senior players in the lead.  In the software realm of my life, we are launching a major enterprise initiative that will turn a 100+ person team in an entirely new direction using never before seen technology at a very aggressive timeline.

I’ve committed to executing these powerful initiatives to both of my teams, Chairmans, CTO’s and CEO’s personally.

Admittedly, I was not doing great succession planning in either place before these two initiatives. The timing of everything presented a perfect opportunity to stretch and develop the people who are the future leaders and coaches to take my job at both places.  It’s an exciting thought working to make myself doubly obsolete!

Good coaching is good questioning. By developing people in their new roles and questioning them through the PACE mindset, I can help them #PushthePACE as well.

P: “What resources are you leveraging to increase your competency to do this role well? Tell me about what you’re doing to develop your people”

A: “Where are you strong? Where are you weak and need complementary skills to get the job done?”

C:  “You have the high-level intention of what we want to achieve from the leadership team.  How have you made it better since we last talked?”, “Anything else?”

E:  “Here are the 5 metrics I’m after.  Tell me about how you see us measuring success on this”

While I’m looking forward to seeing both of these big initiatives come to fruition in the next year and feel confident in the changes made, what I’m looking forward to the most is seeing the growth of everyone involved.

I hope this spurs some thoughts on how you can set your own PACE as parents, coaches, fans, and supporters.

See you on the road soon.

-Scott Lawrence

General Manager and Head Coach