From time to time, I hear coaches say, “I wish I had a leader like that,” referring to a player on another team as if leaders just grow on trees. Naturally, some players are more inclined to be leaders than others, leadership is more learned than natural.
A lot of what you get out of your players from a leadership standpoint has to do with how well you mold them to be the kind of leaders you want.
Too many coaches sit back and wish they had a leader instead of helping to create one. Because leadership depends so much on knowledge and confidence, the most important thing you can do is give knowledge and confidence to your would-be leader.
It is not especially difficult.
– Take extra time to talk to your leader each day.
– Make sure they know the things you want.
– Make sure they have information the rest of the team does not have. (That way, the team has to look to them for information.)
Make sure your leader knows:
– What you’re looking for
– What you think the team needs most
– What upsets you
– What delights you
Spell it out. Lay it out in black and white.
It’s very difficult for your leader to ever feel the crucial ingredient required of a good leader — confidence — if they are struggling to figure you out. Give them the benefit of privileged information. Make sure they understand you and what you want from them.
You will make their job — helping you and the team — a lot easier.