What my 15 year old daughter learned in her high school LAX game the other night, most managers haven’t figured out yet. Here’s a bit of backstory…
My daughter (Giselle) started on varsity last year as a freshman and is a leader on the pitch.
That said, she definitely knows her place.
She’s still only a sophomore and doesn’t want to step on the toes of any upperclassman—ESPECIALLY the senior captains.
So the other night we were getting whooped pretty good by a top-ranked team who flew out from Maryland to San Diego to play them.
Two of the senior captains play in the back with my daughter and our defense was in complete disarray…
Slides were being missed, mistakes were being made, heads were down, and it was quiet…
After the game in a players only meeting, the two sr. Captains proceed to berate the rest of the team for their defensive mistakes—without accepting accountability for their own.
The next day after practice, Coach pulled my daughter aside and said…
“G, what are you seeing back there? What’s going on? What are we missing?”
Without missing a beat my daughter shot back…
“Leadership. We’re missing leadership. We’re not taking responsibility. We’re not talking. We’re not playing as a unit. We’re playing scared because it’s a negative enviroment and there’s no leadership.”
The coach made a couple changes and from one game to the next the defensive unit was completely transformed. We haven’t lost a game sense.
THE LEADERSHIP LESSON
Similar to the story I just told, most managers attempt to lead by relying on positional power granted to them by their title.
However, they fail to realize something important:
Your title doesn’t make you a leader.
In short, leadership is about one thing: INFLUENCE.
Leadership is about the influence you have accrued through the trust and connection you’ve created with your people—and the credibility you’ve earned through your actions.
Leadership is a privilege to be earned, not an entitlement to be taken for granted.
People don’t follow you because of your title.
People follow you because of who you are and the impact you have on their lives.
As leaders, we have to earn it. Every. Single. Day.