Thursday, January 1, 2009

What leadership means

Received the book "Coach" (edited by Andrew Blauner) for Christmas.

The book's foreword is written by Bill Bradley, the former New Jersey Senator who starred at Princeton and played for the Knicks from 1967-77.

Here's an excerpt from the foreword:

Leadership means getting people to think, believe, see, and do what they might not have without you. It means possessing the vision to set the right goal and the decisiveness to pursue it single-mindedly. It means being aware of the fears and anxieties felt by those you lead even as you urge them to overcome those fears.

A great coach embodies these qualities and transforms them into a force that can effect powerful changes in those they lead.

The really great coaches engage their players in a quest to be the best. Some bark their orders; others are more like machines, with a clipboard full of practice drills. In the right player-coach relationship, a quiet "well done" can go a long way.

Many people in all walks of life will tell you that their lives were turned around by a coach who took an interest in their total well-being. But no matter your relationship with that person who will always be "the coach for you, you will hear their words like a record every time you meet challenges or set out to accomplish goals.

It is only then that you fully realize how they shaped you and how their vision still drives you.