What is it? Why is it so vital to success? Leadership is a big buzz word in sport and seemingly getting bigger by the second.
Rugby in both codes is seemingly lacking at the top for a senior player or coach to set a standard with team rules and ruthlessly follow it through.
With the Australian Olympic team, let’s face it the swimming team’s behaviour was abysmal. It was mystifying that individuals did not set their own goals. They needed someone to say let’s follow me, and aim for an end result. The lack of coaching direction was a disgrace.
Football-wise some clubs have lacked leadership seemingly for ever with St Kilda the prime example. Their new recruit Luke Dunstan from the West Torrens Eagles was reportedly moved up the draft order due to his leadership qualities. St Kilda’s administration has lacked planning and come up with some amazing decisions. Like not doing their research on Malcolm Blight and not knowing his non-negotiables. Then sacking him 5 minutes later. St Kilda’s actions over the last few weeks epitomise their entire history.
Richmond is another club with poor decisions over 30 plus years. Sacking T-shirt Tommy after 4 flags. Having 16 coaches during Sheedy’s reign at Essendon. Could so many of them be duds?
To Richmond’s credit they are trying to rectify past errors. With Brendon Gale in control there seems to be direction and more stability. Football-wise they are desperately working behind the scenes to improve leadership with courses, and allegedly to try and make Cotchin more encouraging on ground. I fancy Hardwick will follow through with threats this year, and aim to have no regrets and unconditional standards in 2014.
Port to their credit under Keith Thomas and Ken Hinkley, and after the tragedy of J Mac seemed to set standards and follow through with their non-negotiables. They have good recruiting which the whole group encompassed, and this resulted in every one going in the same direction. Will they be as ruthless when they are the hunted?
Michael Clarke is mystifying in that tactically I feel he is our best captain since Tubby Taylor but seems to lack communication skills off ground. Let’s face it: Symonds, Katich, Hussey, Kreza and others all have one thing in common. Clarke has a lot to answer for! The Homework drama. Warner and his problems. Yes, Gen Y is a problem, but I fancy Ian Chappell would have communicated far better and there would be less bullshit.
Leadership to me is setting non-negotiables for the group; leading from the front; not backing down and having good principles. Blight was fantastic in this regard at Adelaide – not backing down and treating every one equally – like dropping Tony Modra. This is where so many captains and coaches fall away and lack the guts to follow through with the same team rules with the so-called stars.
Leadership to me must start at the top; be ruthless; have courage; have goals; stick to them; and inevitably you get the best possible result from the talent at your disposal. Eventually.
What is your definition of leadership? Who do you think is a good leader?