Everyone is meant to lead in their own way, be it by example or by being a captain. Both are important. Here are some tips on how you can hone in on your leadership abilities.
Walk the walk.
As a leader, your actions speak for themselves. From John Wooden’s book, Wooden: “A leader’s most powerful ally is his or her own example.” I couldn’t say it better myself. If your teammates see you working hard in the weight room, they will want to work hard in the weight room. If they see you finishing last in conditioning, they will think that is acceptable and feel they don’t need to work as hard. Leaders always do their best and always try to make others want to do the same.
Don’t speak about it. Be about it.
It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, but it’s another to do it. As a player under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, I heard this quote, which has stuck with me ever since: “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you say.” If you are truly a leader, you don’t need to tell people. If you simply do your job and set the best example you can, your teammates will not need your words to affirm your actions.
Be a great listener.
Yes, I know, you weren’t expecting to read about listening with respect to leadership. However, it’s an incredibly important part of a leader’s responsibility. Leaders need to understand the thoughts and feelings of the people they lead. Once they are able to do so, they can make any changes necessary and lead the group in the right direction.
So ask yourself:
- Do my teammates look up to me?
- Can my teammates trust me?
- Do my teammates come to me often when they have issues on and off the field?
- Do I do as I say?
- Does my leadership extend to the weight room, classroom, and social situations?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’re already a leading force on your team.
Don’t think for one minute that you can’t become a leader. You don’t have to be the fastest, strongest, loudest, or even the best player. You just have to be a person of positive influence. For more tips on how to lead, follow me on Twitter @PWCurran.