I got to confess, I am really tired of hearing coaches and teachers talk about getting the kids to buy-in. I don't think the primary challenge is to get the kids to buy into what you're doing. I think the primary challenge is to get you to buy into the kids.
I hear it all the time, I'm around a lot of athletic programs and I hear coaches all the time asking the kids or challenging the kids to buy in to the program. Here's what this is all about, here's how it works in the locker room, on the field, on the mat, on the court; you've got to buy into your kids before they buy into you.
Because here's the principle, people follow the leader first and the vision of the programs second. Kids want to follow the right kind of leader. Kids are looking for someone to give their heart to. So you must give your heart to them in order for them to give their heart to you. You have to believe in the kids before the kids believe in you. In fact, sometimes you have to believe in the kids before the kids believe in themselves.
So you have a program, you have culture, you have stuff you want people to do—demonstrate it. Show the kids under your care show the students or the student athletes under your leadership that you believe in them, that you believe in your own program. Live the culture. They need to see it and hear it and feel it from you. Because you have to buy into your own program and buy into your kids before they are going to buy into you.
People follow the leader first and the vision second.
Do The Work.