Who is a leader and what qualities to they possess?
This sort of question always raises the question of whether a leader is born or can they learn to lead.
Not to mention all the different leadership styles out there?
Who would you follow?
- Somebody who leads by example
- Somebody who takes control
- Somebody who delegates
- Somebody who compromises
- Somebody who engages the whole group to decide.
As a cricket coach of under 17 young men I have found that what works best with this age group is to engage their ideas and come to a shared agreement about the direction to take.
This has a nice calming effect on the alpha males and teaches them to listen to other members of the group. In this fashion we make our plans to further our cricket. This style promotes team spirit and also helps me the coach get an insight into what they are thinking.
The crucial part of our team meetings is that everybody’s opinion is valued. Often it is the quiet members of the group who have the deepest insight on how to move forward. This invaluable contribution would have been lost if not for a forum like this. The more dominant members would be making all the noise and the quieter members would keep their thoughts to themselves.
It’s about creating a mastermind environment within the team.
I believe this prepares them for the decisions they need to make quickly during the course of the game.
We have a captain and a vice captain who make the bulk of the decisions on the day based on the team’s discussions. Even though this is the case the players do feel empowered to point out scenarios that could help the team on the day.
At first the team members were reluctant to talk.
It was important to create a safe non threatening environment that allowed everybody to respect each others point of view. The value of the discussions really drove the process. Suddenly we were getting ideas and insights from players who hardly said much and this helped the team achieve. Once everybody realized that they could voice their opinion without any fear they opened up.
My role in all of this is to facilitate and guide the discussion as well as refer to the bigger picture. I have found that they tend to be very driven by outcome. This drive is great however they tend to rest on their laurels. “That was great now we can relax”, rather than realizing that continually improvement in all areas of our game will bring about the outcomes they are looking for consistently. This means no taking the foot off the pedal.
Listening is the key to this type of masterminding leadership.
The whole process is driven by you announcing to them that you are actually listening and implementing their ideas. You see this could be the first time many of these young men have had somebody really listen to them. Often they are told what to do.
We are currently second on the ladder for this season. The team who is first are a very talented and organized group. They have not lost a game yet. Our goal for the second half of the season is to gain respect and become a real contender for the pace setting team.
I will report on this throughout my blog and allow you to decide how you think the process unfurled.