Is perception reality? Maybe. Interestingly enough, I got the idea for this post from an excerpt (the original article requires a hefty time commitment) about the leadership qualities presidents should show…not have, but show. I certainly don’t want you to think I’m comparing a coach’s job to that of the president, but all leaders must think about how we’re perceived.
5 actions we can take to show we’re a trustworthy leader
Confident, by not arrogant. Our teams need to know that we believe in what we’re teaching them, in our coaching philosophy, and in the direction of the team. We have to show them that we believe in them and their abilities. On the other hand, we can’t be that coach who takes credit for wins and blames the team for losses.
Open-minded, but not a flip flopper. A good leader is confident enough and aware enough to appreciate feedback from the assistant coaches and also the team leaders. While we should remain open to counsel, we’ve also got to know what we stand for. We don’t want one assistant to make a suggestion that we enthusiastically agree with and then when our other assistant offers the exact opposite suggestion…we enthusiastically agree with them as well!
Visionary, but practical. I think it’s great to be innovative and forward-thinking. I sometimes feel that too many of us coaches do things because that’s how things have always been done. Thinking outside of the box can be a great thing…but we’ve got to make sure that we’re rooted in the practicality of doing what’s best for the team.
Personally disciplined, but not rigid. I’m a planner by nature. I always have a backup plan for my plan in case the original plan doesn’t work. I think our teams need to see that we have a game plan for the season and for every opponent…but they also need to see that we won’t be stubborn and stick with a plan that is clearly not working.
Ready for crisis, but not kept up at night with worry. Crises happen over the course of a player’s career. Maybe they suffer a serious injury late in the season, or a parent gets sick, or their grades are putting them in danger of getting booted from school. Whatever it is, we’ve got to know the right people to guide them to for answers. Hopefully the knowledge that we’re not the end all be all for answers will keep us from turning into worry warts. Constant worrying and confidence can’t live within the same person and we’ve got to show our teams that we’re confident leaders.
I suppose we’ve got to be perceived as leaders before our teams will feel comfortable following us. I thought these “presidential” qualities would be a good place to start!