What is Leadership?

Leadership is the key to getting the most out of every individual player and making sure that the sum is much greater than the individual parts. Yet, many people don’t know how to be an effective leader or only act in ways that they think leaders act.

Leadership is more than being the best player on a team or being in a position of power, it is a mindset that allows a team to flourish and reach its full potential.

The first key to effective leadership is an understanding of what true leadership is. In order to be an effective leader, you must be able to be fully invested in achieving the goals of the group while also being able to take a step back and make the best decision for the big picture.

In other words, you must be 100% bought into the team and its success but not so caught up in it where you lack the awareness to recognize when the team may be heading in a direction that pulls it away from the team’s goals.

A Real-World Example

There may be no better example of this than Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly in the 2018-2019 season. His team started the year 3-0 with victories over quality opponents such as Michigan.

However, Kelly could see that his team was not reaching its full potential despite the wins. For the fourth game, he decided to make a quarterback change that ultimately influenced the way their season played out, leading to a college football playoff berth.

It would have been easy for coach Kelly to get caught up in the wins, no matter the margin, and stick with the original quarterback.

However, as an effective leader, he was able to step back and recognize that even with a 3-0 record, the team needed to make some changes in order to truly be on the path towards their goals that he cared deeply about achieving.

Being a Leader

Effective leaders are able to live in 2 worlds simultaneously. The world where they are completely invested in the team and their goals and care about whether or not they are accomplished, and the world where they can step back and objectively determine if the direction the team is going in is truly what is best for it.

Being only completely invested in the team goals makes you a follower because you are too easily influenced by what the team is currently doing and gives you too narrow of a focus.

Being only big picture focused makes you a consultant because you don’t actually care if the team accomplishes its goals, you simply see steps needed to accomplish them.

Being completely invested in the team’s goals and big picture makes you an effective leader and leads to more wins, more success, and the achievement of more goals.


Featured Image: Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

About the Author: