Leadership and Followship

16 Aug

My father was my first coach and he would tell me quotes and saying all the time to help teach me.  One of his best quotes on leadership was, “A good leader can step on a person shoes without messing up their shine”.  That quote has always meant, that a leader knows how to motivate and get their teammates to perform, without demeaning their self-esteem.

Leadership and Followship go hand in hand. They are interdependent. In order to have great leaders you must have great followers.

Leadership as we all know comes in many forms: Vocal, lead by example and I would like to add “combo leader”.   The “combo leader” is the person whom is both vocal and leads by example.  I believe that all successful teams and business have these 3 type of leaders which makes them successful.

I also believe in instilling in my players that leadership is an “ALL TIME thing”. Not a “some time” thing. For example: I will lead tomorrow, or I will lead on the court.

A true leader is a leader all the time and everywhere, unless it is their time to” follow” when the roles have clearly changed and have been articulated. In which case they now must become a “follower”.

A leader must realize and accept that BEING RESPECTED is more important than being liked or popular. This is not easy!

How are LEADERSHIP and FOLLOWSHIP developed?

1. Rotating your leaders throughout different activities (weights, stretching, drills etc). The coach gives all of their instructions/expectations are given through our leaders of those activities. The success and/or failure will be determined by the leaders performance and his ability to motivate his teammates.

2. Challenge your student/athletes to join clubs and take leadership positions in the clubs and school. Ex, student government, Kiwanis.

3. When we travel we have “room captains”. It is the job of the room captain to make sure everyone is his room is: on time, keeps the room clean, makes curfew, is properly dressed etc. At the end of the trip the coaches decide who has the best room. A handsome prize is given to the winning team.

4. Everyone is given the opportunity to lead and to follow. This allows the staff the ability to select the best leaders for our team.

During my coaching career, over 15 alumni have gone on to become CAPTAINS of their college teams.

Remember, don’t take LEADERSHIP and FOLLOWSHIP for granted!  Preach it, teach it, model it and develop it!

If you are a player, does getting leadership roles make you work harder? As a coach, how do you help your players learn the importance of Leadership and Followship?

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