Sports Leadership at Work

Author: Harrison HR | Blog

“Leaders are not born, they’re made.  They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” - Vince Lombardi

Leadership and coaching concepts that apply to the workplace are almost the same as those found in sports.  As a coach or a manager, you're trying to motivate your "players" to reach their full potential; and when everyone on the team understands the direction and strategy the manager / coach has developed, success is much easier to obtain.

Head Coaches as Leaders
As a head coach, you've got position power over all the players.  After all, you're the one determining the starting lineup.  But as a coach, you need to understand that your role needs to be more than just a good judge of a player's abilities.  You need to be a leader.  That means treating players with the respect they deserve.

Getting the Most Out of Players
It's not easy to be an effective leader - you need to work hard to gain the confidence of the team and understand the motivations of each player. Fortunately, there are some simple sport leadership rules that apply to all leadership situations, including the workplace:

  • Treat players with respect and you will earn their respect.
  • Try to understand each player on the team well enough to be able to identify their specific strengths and weaknesses.
  • Lead by example - if you expect players to be on time, then you should never be late for a meeting yourself.
  • Share your strategy with your players. It is much easier for players to support a strategy if they understand it.
  • Remain decisive and confident. A coach's confidence can be contagious. If the players know that you believe in them, then they might start believing in themselves too.
  • Finally, instruct players in a positive manner - tell them what you want them to do, not what you don't want them to do. This point is often missed by inexperienced coaches and leaders. For example, if you're at a critical point in a tennis match, don't tell the player: "Whatever you do, don't throw the ball too far forward on your serve.".  Instead, you should say: "I want you to serve strong, fast and accurate – ace it!".

Follow these simple leadership strategies and you will cultivate a strong, motivated team culture and get the best out of your employees.

For more information about how to manage and motivate your team please contact Brisbane-based human resources and leadership consultants Harrison Human Resources on 1300 544 803.

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