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Monday, August 14, 2017

Leadership Playbook

Jamy Bechler in The Leadership Playbook gives great wisdom on how we can all improve as leaders. It is not just for players and coaches, it is for everyone. One of the points Bechler makes is that we are all leaders in whatever we do. The book is designed to help us become better leaders whether for our team, our business, or our family.

In each chapter, he brings out a specific principle of leadership. He then reinforces each principle with 100’s quotes which apply to the specific leadership concept, and numerous examples of people who have successfully or unsuccessfully applied the specific principle of the chapter.

As coaches, we work hard to develop skills specific to our sports. In basketball, we don’t expect a player to automatically be a great shooter. We design drills to practice skills of shooting. The basic theme of Bechler is that leadership is a skill that we need to work to develop. His book is indeed an effective playbook to develop leadership skills.

Bechler Uses Famous Quotes Applied to Leadership
Bechler uses 100’s of quotes to support his leadership concepts. Here are just a few of my favorites.

“A Year from now, you’ll wish you started today.”- Karen Lamb

“There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So, keep in mind that in the end, the choices you make makes you.”- John Wooden

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.”- Aristotle

“I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s Disease, I have nothing but a choice about how I react to it.” – Michael J. Fox

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that this impact lasts in your absence.”- Harvard Business School

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“You have a choice to make when you’re not playing. Either you’re invested and a great teammate, or you are not.” – Brad Stevens

“On good teams, coaches hold players accountable. On great teams, players hold each other accountable.” – Joe Dumars

 “The greatest compliment to any player is he’s a great teammate. We can’t all be great players but we can all be great teammates.” – Jay Bilas

“Talent is never enough. With few exceptions, the best players are the hardest workers.” – Magic Johnson

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” – Vince Lombardi

Bechler’s Leadership Concepts
Leadership is the ability to influence other people’s behavior. We all have the ability to influence- we are all leaders. Everyone can and should be a team leader. The most successful teams have players with a sense of ownership. Coaches and captains are “positional leaders.” Every player can exert leadership through personal power of their relationships.

The first step in leadership is to lead yourself. “The best way to improve the team is to improve yourself. The first person to influence is yourself.” Success is a choice. To become successful, we sometimes have to do things we don’t want to do to accomplish what we want to achieve. Through your actions, you build trust with your teammates, which will give you a platform to influence. “People will follow you because of who you are and what you represent.”

One of the best ways to lead is by example. If you work hard and are unselfish, you will help the team become hard working and unselfish. “When your best player is also your hardest worker and most respected team member then your chance for on-field success is increased.”

You don’t have to be able to influence everyone to be a team leader. If you have just 2-3 people on a team with whom you have a positive relationship- if you influence them- you are being a leader. To influence others, you have to have a relationship with the others.

Three things leaders communicate to teammates: 1) Encouragement, 2) Information, 3) Accountability. Too often we think leadership is just holding teammates as accountable. If you are going to confront a teammate, it only works if you have built up trust.

While players don’t have to be rah-rah to lead, “Every player should be leading verbally.” When a player gives praise, they are being a leader. When a player gives instruction, they are being a leader. 

Jon Gordon in the Energy Bus talks about how “energy vampires” kill a team. By our actions we can be positive or negative leaders. Every role is important. Everyone should try to star in their role. Sacrifice and service to the team builds trust. Trust allows you to influence teammates.

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