Myth #7: “Talking about leadership is just too uncomfortable for me.”

For many people talking about leadership can be an uncomfortable process. This is particularly true if no one ever talked to you about leadership. As coaches, we are often in our comfort zone when teaching a sport we played at a high level and studied for years. It makes perfect sense that you would be uncomfortable talking about leadership if this topic is outside of your comfort zone. However, that does not mean you get a free pass on investing in your student-athletes as people.

If leadership is an uncomfortable topic for you here are some options to consider:

  1. Educate yourself: There are many aspects of your job where you once lacked the skills to perform at a high level. You likely put in the time to learn more and develop skills in your areas of weakness. The same can be true on the topic of leadership. If you can only read one book on leadership I would suggestion Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
  2. Utilize free resources: People who specialize in leadership development may offer free resources that you can begin to integrate into your program. One of the resources that I love to share with coaches is the Leadership Assesment that I used with my Captains. This is an easy tool to use to start moving your program in a healthier direction. If you’d like a copy of my Leadership Assesment please reach out.
  3. Follow others: There are plenty of people who write, tweet and speak on leadership. By simply make them a part of your own circle of influence you will begin to learn more about this topic and in turn become more confident in integrating leadership development into your program. A few people that I follow are Jon GordonSimon SinekHenry Cloud & Patrick Lencioni. I am well aware that this short list lacks women. It is further proof that we need to develop all of our student-athletes as leaders.
  4. Integrate Curriculum: I wrote Leadership Discovery with coaches in mind. The six-part curriculum is designed to provide a new perspective on leadership as well as to teach five tangible leadership concepts. The five concepts are; Great Leaders Say Come with Me, Great Leaders Do the Dirty Work, Great Leaders Pay it Forward, Great Leaders Burn the Ships and Great Leaders Take Care of their People. The material is structured so that coaches can integrate leadership development into their program by walking their team through this process. Please reach out if you’d like to talk about other teams who are currently using Leadership Discovery and how you might implement it within your program.

I want to encourage you to take action today to educate yourself, utilize free resources, connect with others or integrate leadership development curriculum in your program.

At the heart of leadership is the responsibility to develop more leaders. As coaches, we have an amazing platform to do just that. What better investment can we make than to invest in the lives of our student-athletes as people?