How are you leading?

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Julianne snapped it this weekend with her iPhone and through the magic of Instagram, you get a picture of me surrounded by 5 and 6 year old boys at their last soccer game of the season.  First things first.  I absolutely LOVED coaching.  It helped that Joshua loved playing and enjoyed “having Daddy coach!”  To me, that was where I found the joy.  I was able to watch 12 kindergarten boys learn the game of soccer, enjoy geting to know each other, and improve as the season went on.  I also think the fact that I am as passionate about soccer as I am social media had a thing to do with me enjoying it!

As I looked at this picture, I began to think about leadership.  As a boss or leader, what is your style?  If I were to look at how I coached 5 and 6 year olds this past spring, I focused on the following characteristics.  Could that translate from the soccer field into successful leadership in the office?

  • ENCOURAGEMENT – Keep trying even if you missed the goal!
  • HUMILITY – Stay humble after scoring goals!  The game isn’t over.
  • TEAMWORK – Pass the ball.
  • DISCIPLINE – Take charge when you need to.  5 and 6 year olds don’t always behave!
  • FUN – Keep them laughing.  Do things to mix it up at practice that are enjoyable so they excel during the games!
As I look at this list, it seems like this could be a recipe for success on a team.  It applies to fathers, coaches, business leaders.  So I say “YES”, when I finally get a chance to lead a team, these will be some of the principles that I’ll use.  I’ll continually ask the questions:
  • Is there improvement and growth?
  • Are they working together?
  • Are they learning?
  • Are they having fun?
If the answer is “yes” to all of the questions, then it feels like I’ve done my job but will continue to find ways to motivate and challenge.  Am I oversimplifying things by limiting leadership to this list?  Not having extensive leadership experience, I pose this question to you: what are some other characteristics you look for in leadership?
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6 thoughts on “How are you leading?

  1. Hey Patrick; I think we are on the same team……….I’m still trying to figure Triberr out and how I can help my other members and one is certainly stopping by to pay a visit.

    The picture certainly brought back memories as both of my boys are out of the house but I coached them in soccer, baseball and basket ball.

    I think you are on track with:

    ◦ENCOURAGEMENT – Keep trying even if you missed the goal!
    ◦HUMILITY – Stay humble after scoring goals! The game isn’t over.
    ◦TEAMWORK – Pass the ball.
    ◦DISCIPLINE – Take charge when you need to. 5 and 6 year olds don’t always behave!
    ◦FUN – Keep them laughing. Do things to mix it up at practice that are enjoyable so they excel during the games!

    I would also say lead by example.

    Sometimes you have to mold a team but it’s much easier to do when you hire for attitude; it is so much harder to create culture after the fact.

    Good luck in your journey and I look forward to seeng you around.

  2. Hi Patrick! I stopped by because I listed your blog on my Father’s Day post on thestickyfloor.com but then I saw this post and wanted to respond. I have worked with an amazing leadership expert named Jeff Patnaude and he suggests that a great leader begins with knowing him or herself first. They need to be clear in purpose and all their values must be in alignment with their leadership style. I’ll be reading his book Leading from the Maze soon, and will share any revelations I discover. Best wishes, I think your blog is wonderful and have added it to my blogroll as well. take care!

    • Cletch, thanks for that additional insight! I completely agree with you. Leaders need to have an understanding of who they are and what drives them before leading anyone.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pingback: Nate Riggs: Blogging Style Critiques - Week of 6-27-2011 | Nate Riggs is Social Business Strategies | Content Marketing and Social Media Consulting

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