I asked one of my recreational basketball teammates if she felt she was a leader, “Hmm, well I contribute vocally in a group, I physically work the hardest on my team, I am at practice before and after everyone, so I guess…yes, yes I am a leader!” After studying leadership and spending hours on defining a leader, how to develop a leader, and what a leader looks like, I could not help but be disappointed with her response.
All of her answers included something physical. What about the emotional and controllable aspects of being a leader?!
It occurred to me that ‘a leader’ to her was different than ‘a leader’ to me. Webster’s Dictionary has its own interpretations of a leader as well; however, I felt it may be important for my readers to understand that this is NOT the only way to be a leader.
Physical contributions in a practice or within a team are important; however, that is only one characteristic of a strong leader. Here are A FEW of my CONTROLLABLE leadership qualities:
|Strong Leadership Qualities||Weak Leadership Qualities|
|1. Self-Aware||1. Speaks without thinking|
|2.Leads by Example||2. Individualistic Way of Life|
|3.Not only hears, but listens||3. Isolates themselves during hardships|
|4. Communicates Effectively||4. Runs from challenges and adversity|
|5.Motivates oneself and others to be better||5. Success is defined by numbers (i.e., scoring in basketball)|
|6. Goes Beyond the “Requirements”||6. Dishonest|
|7. Knows when to lead and when to follow||7. Acts different when no one is looking|
- Practice leadership – It takes time
- Everyone can lead; it may just look different for different individuals
- “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Lyndsey Seewald is a graduate of the University of Denver’s Sport & Performance Psychology Masters Program. Now she is a coach for a private collegiate basketball team, where she works with athletes to increase their mental and physical resilience during injury recovery and helps them develop tecnhniques to overcome obstacles both on the court and in life.