#02 Sefu Bernard: The Power of Strong Team Cultur‪e‬

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Being a leader can be tough—whether it’s leading a sports team, a business delegation or a flock of kids.

But as difficult as it is at times, we all know it’s worth the effort. Positive team dynamic is vital to a strong, healthy organization.

However, questions quickly start to pop once you start to implement best practices.

How can I become an effective leader? How can I create the best conditions for my team to grow and perform?

At the end of the day, one thing is certain: We need better leaders and coaches.

During a recent Instagram Live session, I had the opportunity to talk to someone who thrives in this environment. Sefu Bernard is the Director of Player Development with the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and a coach instructor. He explores these questions on a daily basis with top professionals and coaches.


A self-described “teacher-coach,” Sefu Bernard is passionate about sharing knowledge. … Over the past 20 years, Sefu has worked with the NBA, WNBA, Canada Basketball, and the NHL.

He has become integral in developing the next generation of coaches, championing deep logistical knowledge, thoughtful decision-making, and effective communication. He focuses on leadership development and motivation.

Sefu currently works as the Director of Player Development with the Washington Mystics and is the founder of the youth sport initiative Athlete Centred Experience (ACX).

Sefu helps teams and coaches bring their game to the next level by focusing on high-level habits, talent development and deep learning.

His thoughtful and humble approach speaks to the person behind the player and addresses the human side of performance.

In this interview, Sefu and I discuss the “ideal character” of a high performance athlete, the grit necessary to succeed at a high level, and the difference in perspectives between coaches and players. We explore how to build a commitment-based culture, as well as how to develop a culture of error.

If you want to become a better coach or leader, this conversation is for you.

Join me on Episode 02 and learn how to build resilient culture and character with Sefu Bernard!


  • What does #ThankThePasser mean?
  • Are there ideal character traits for high performance athletes?
  • How do you build effective team dynamic and cohesion?
  • What kind of discussions do you have with your players and coaches around failure?
  • What was the biggest lesson you learned in the transition from player to coach?
  • How does mindfulness fit into high performance?



  • How to develop the capacity to have “Crucial Confrontations”
  • Why “openness of spirit” is a necessary trait on teams
  • How to create buy-in on a team
  • How to build a Commitment-Based Culture
  • How to develop an optimal mistake response
  • Psychological safety in a “Culture of Error”
  • What the “Curse of Knowledge” is
  • The effect of leaders’ and coaches’ performance state
  • The importance of youth-sport initiatives
  • Plus much more…

Listen to the show


  • For those interested in youth development: ACX Basketball’s Website and Twitter
  • For those interested in coaching and player development: The Llabb’s Website and Twitter

Connect with Sefu Bernard


Transcript coming soon!