In life and in football, coaching and leadership are the same. A good coach is usually a good leader and frequently a good leader can also be a good coach. There have been good coaches that are not particularly good leaders. And there are good leaders who are lousy coaches.
It is important that every coach and leader establish for themselves a personal leadership philosophy that they believe in. I’m not speaking of simply strategy and tactics, but rather the core of your moral fiber and what it is that drives your passion.
There are many types of management styles, all of which have seen success. A personal leadership philosophy and the management style that might live with it can be easily found by your motivation to succeed.
Sometimes motivation for success is purposely driven by self-serving rewards such as money, notoriety, power, celebrity status, cars, homes and brand building.
When you are driven by those rewards it is easy to coach and lead with the end result; bottom line and wins and losses as your only necessary measuring stick for success. It is easy to ride the roller coaster of emotion and make decisions with no concern for your team members. A heavy hand of power brings some short-lived gratification to fulfill your desire and motivation to succeed.
My own personal coaching philosophy stems from two sources. The first is a scripture verse I Thessalonians 3:12-13, “May the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence…”
In whatever role I had, my primary motivation was to help those I coached move closer to their potential, not only as players but as men. Making the small world I worked and lived in better in some way brought me some satisfaction and joy. Stressing the fact that as we strive to become the best we will face adversity, setbacks, and successes. It will be the process (specific action steps) of striving to become the best and the journey along the way which we will achieve the most growth and reward.
Coaches and Leaders should be responsible for more than just wielding their power. I’ve thought of leadership this way. Which will have the greater result?
To impose one’s will upon another to act, or to inspire another to act upon his will!
There will be many times coaches or leaders will be required by circumstance to be the boss and wield that power, but great leaders are not consumed and corrupted by the power itself.
The other source that describes my personal philosophy is from the book The Teaching of Don Juan by Carlos Castenada, “Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone the question…. does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it does not it is of no use.”
Hopefully more coaches and leaders will develop their own personal leadership philosophy based on not only winning, but building future leaders and coaches we would all aspire to be led by.
You’ll find coaches and leaders at almost every level of sportsmanship and life. As parents, if we do our jobs right, we are our children’s most influential leaders and coaches and we will set the tone for a life-long journey of development for our kids.
As we move through our education and into our careers, we will have many opportunities to interact with both good and bad coaches and good and bad leadership styles. The key is to pay attention to what styles and skills build the strongest, most effective teams and try to emulate and improve upon them.