Part 1: Developing Real Relationships To Lead
Leadership is something that everyone has in them and we all use them in different ways. Some for good and others for things that are not relevant! Here is a blog post about turning negative leadership into positive leadership within a team through relationships and trust!
Leadership is defined simply as influence! It's that simple, if you can influence just one person then you you have leadership capabilities! Now the key to leadership on a team is developing it to accomplish a common goal - winning!
Every coach and player can agree that at some point or another you have had players on your team decide to get together to go out and party or maybe a group of them miss curfew. Clearly one of them had the bright idea to go out and the others followed! So I love when this happens early in the preseason so I figure out who my leaders are and who players listen to! They become my project because I truly believe if they are willing to stand up against the rules, it's simply a matter of getting them to buy in.
How do you get them to buy in?
(See last blog post about buying in, it has great ideas from Kevin Jackson)
In this scenario when there is leadership but it's used to break a rule: First of all, punish them and see how serious they are about fixing their mistake. Spend more time with them teaching them about why commitment is so important to success. Learn more about them, their story and their motivation!
Talk to them about how this will not only benefit the team but also explain how commitment and sacrificing now will pay off in their future. Give examples from your own personal experiences so they get to know you the person - not just the unrealistic image of you "the perfect coach." I tell my players all the time about mistakes I made as a player and the lessons I learned from them to show them I am human and that I overcame it!
In practice if I make a mistake, I will apologize sincerely and show my team that this team is a safe environment for us to all work together, make mistakes, be accountable and get better together! They usually look weird when I do it the first time but maybe the second time, they respond back to me the same way I respond to their mistakes "It's ok coach, you got it next time." This is a sign that they believe in you as a leader and this kind of rapport is when you will be positioned for success!
Now I'm into coaching hard and tough and building mental toughness but I never make an "example" out of a player who actually takes responsibility for a mistake especially if it's openly in front of the team. Most players don't realize they are making mistakes so that's where we coach them and teach them. How we criticize and coach our players in front of the team is how they will lead each other and how they will reciprocate accountability to us! Do not try to embarrass or throw anyone under the bus because they will begin doing it to each other, then eventually to you! Instead teach them how to lead, influence them to take responsibility and work together and they will do just that!