25 May

by Kevin Sutton 
Georgetown University 

I was having a conversation with one of my “Living Trophies”-Nate James an assistant coach at Duke University the other day. One of the topics we discussed was Leadership. Interestingly enough, Nate was one of the best leaders that I ever coached. Now he wants to be a great leader as a coach. He will be!

Here are my thoughts on Leadership. 

– Great teams/organizations have:
1. A visible bond 
2. Chemistry
3. Synergy
4. Trust
5. Communication skills
6. Respect
7. Accountability 
8. Honesty
9. Love for each other
10. Confidence
11. A toughness 
12. Maturity
13. Alliance 
14. Awareness of who they are, what is at stake, and the magnitude of the moment. 
15. Conflict resolution skills

-Leadership is not a “sometime thing” it is an “all time thing”. 

– Leadership has to be addressed on a daily basis. It must have a level of reinforcement either positively or negatively. 

– Leadership  about consistency. People will follow if: 
1. they trust the leader,
2. they believe in the leader, 
3. they know that the leader is consistent in his actions & words.

– Great leadership has 3 types:
1. Vocal 
2. Example
3. Combination of Vocal & Example

-Leadership has to be born out of a 
“Safe environment” where the 
1. Lines of communication are open, 2. Trust is valued, 
3. Honesty is important 
4. Accountability is expected
5. Collective responsibility to the team’s goals is paramount

Leadership is an “Action” position. To lead you must: 
1. Act on your instincts 
2. Speak and mean what you say
3. Do what you say

A very important part of Leadership is followship . Followship is the willingness to be lead because you “believe in” the leader, which leads to “buy in”. 
Followship is about trust.

-It is important to create “leadership/followship opportunities as often as you can: 
1. Rotating your leaders in your drills during workouts. 
2. Make different people leaders in different aspects of your program(ex scout team, team outreach)

-Every  person is a leader. First to himself and then to others. 

-A leader is a person who has heard the call to lead, and to step up and has chosen to answer that call. 

– A leaders willingness to fail is often overshadowed by their fear of failure, which often propels them to victory. 

– Being  a leader can be a lonely position. One must fill their own bucket by knowing that whom they lead and what they lead are moving in the desired direction. 

-Leaders need to have vision. They must sell their vision. Their vision will get others to want to follow. 


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