I was recruited by Michelle Ng and Without Limits to write about my experiences in my final season of College Ultimate. 2011 has many possibilities...let's see how they pan out. E-mail me (robyn-fennig@uiowa.edu)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leaders Are (or the revival of my blog)

For the past three months, I have been fortunate enough to have had a phenomenal internship doing hazard mitigation planning for the State of Wisconsin in Wisconsin Emergency Management (Department of Military Affairs). Today, our newly appointed WEM administrator held his “orientation” for all of the WEM employees. I sat in this presentation thinking, “Wow, this stuff applies to ultimate way too much.” He was talking about leadership.

He was talking about the equalities I want my team leader to possess on and off the field.

This entry is the “revival” of my blog.

Leaders are….

There was a slide in his presentation that I wrote down everything off of it. Eagerly. It fit too well to let this opportunity pass.

Leaders are motivators.
Leaders are imaginative.
Leaders are able to see the “big picture.”
Leaders think critically.
Leaders create relationships.
Leaders know when to act.
Leaders are agile, flexible, adaptable.

Leaders are motivators.
This is so true. Many times, it’s the team leadership that is able to get teammates excited to contribute to the whole. Leaders make people WANT to come to 6 am workouts, or perform an extra sprint workout to the best of their ability. Leaders inspire their teammates to go the extra mile to succeed.

Leaders are imaginative.
Leaders should be creative to come up with new ways to accomplish the same goals. They aren’t afraid to try something new. They “think outside the box.” They come up with new plans. They come up with different ways to get their teammates on board.

Leaders see the “big picture.”
They never lose sight of the final goal or vision for the season. They assess if progress is being made to reach that big picture goal, and can re-evaluate objectives to get there.

Leaders think critically.
Self explanatory. Without critical thinking, a leader, and their team will fail.

Leaders create relationships.
If you’re like me, you’ve been part of teams where you have a teammate who you do not get along with. They pit teammates against other teammates (sometimes themselves) in stupid battles that ruin team camaraderie, making your team function much like a broken machine with major operator error. Promoting the formation and maintaining of antagonistic relationships is the fastest way to train wreck. The leader, who can get people to put that B.S. aside and willingly work together and support one another (heck, at least tolerate each other), is a leader of a successful team on AND off the field, which is the ultimate goal.

Leaders know when to act.
Sometimes as leaders, we get caught up with attaining perfection, that we forget to do what we said we would do. Talk is cheap. It can serve as a motivator, or even a guise to get people to follow you…temporarily. But that’s all it is: talk. Until you actually DO something, your followers will drop like flies, and no one will buy into the team.

Leaders are agile, adaptable, flexible.
We don’t know what is going to happen on the field come game time. We don’t know who will actually be on the line, we don’t know who is going to have an off day, or who is going to play well. We don’t know what the other team will throw at us. We can’t even accurately predict the weather. The degree of uncertainty in sports is crazy high. Sometimes there is no way to anticipate what comes next. But a leader who can change strategy, personnel, or adapt on the fly, is someone whose team is successful.

What are your thoughts?
What do you want to see in your team leadership?
What things do you that are successful to be a leader on your team?

1 comment:

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