If you share these mats with us, you’re a leader. You’re a leader of your family, in your profession, and within any team you are responsible for. Other than being responsible for the collective of our team, we have the duty of being the best possible leaders in our lives and on those teams.
Who is your team?
Your family? Subordinates in your command at work? Students in your class? The kids’ softball team you coach? A sales team? The book club you run every other Tuesday night?
Leadership means a lot of different things depending on who you ask, and everyone has their own way of leading. Regardless, everyone can acknowledge that good leadership makes a critical factor of success.
Working or playing on a well-led team feels great. Anyone that has had rotten leaders in positions of authority know this all too well. Whatever team you lead, we want to offer some ways you can make your team function better.
Before we dive in, we first we must recognize that leaders serve the people they lead, not the other way around. Secondly, leading from authority without the ability to lead by example is never credible. Your team will follow you if they have to, but rarely with enthusiasm; this isn’t sustainable.
Identify core values
Identify the core values of your team. Your team should contribute to these definitions, but as a leader, your responsibilities include setting the tone for these standards and giving your team what they need to meet, or exceed, them.
When deciding what those values are, focus on simple and succinct. Your personal values may look different, but for your children they might look as simple as honesty, kindness and hard work.
Or they may include selflessness, humility and courage. Whatever you decide, you have to lead them so they succeed on these values. Objectives are an entirely different thing, but if the principle holds true, your team will find a way to reach the goal.
Exemplify the values + standards you set
As a leader, you have to exemplify the values and standards set for your team.
On the Competition team? Members and teammates are essential leaders too. They show their leadership by showing up on time, ready to work hard. They inspire the rest of the team to do so as well.
An essential part of leadership includes knowing what it means to support your community as a good teammate yourself. How can we be good teammates?
We keep the academy clean for each other. We work hard and look out for each other. We check in on each other when one goes missing for a bit. Becoming a good teammate is essential to building the qualities that make a good leader.
Read and share knowledge
Lastly, every good leader reads. A lot. Usually well-versed in the classics, they always have their ears and eyes open for new books to devour.
Leaders recognize the importance of learning from others’ experiences and challenges, incorporating them into their own methods.
Don’t know where to start? Pick up a book called “The Leader’s Bookshelf” by Admiral James Stavridis and R. Manning Ancel. They interviewed a couple hundred officers and generals; many of their tastes in books overlapped.
Ask your teammates and coaches what they’re reading. Whatever team your leading, the pee wee soccer club or SWAT team, your team will benefit from your thoughtful approach.
Your teammates on these Easton mats will too!
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