In the movie 'Remember the Titans' the Captain and Vice Captain of the now famous NFL football team, The Titans, are discussing their team. The Captain is disgruntled with the way the Vice Captain's team mates are contributing to the success of the team at practice. At that moment the Vice Captain looks to the Captain and says 'Attitude reflects leadership'.
To me, this sums up the basis for leadership. There is a lot being written and said about leaders having to inspire people to be the best they can be, to inspire people to do things they didn't think were possible, and to achieve their own personal and group goals. I concur with the sentiments of the thousands upon thousands of books and speeches that have been given along this premise.
However, my personal belief is that leadership starts from within the leader and the standards that the leader sets for themselves. Like anything, the attitude of the team is a direct reflection of the attitude of the leader, and the standards by which the leader holds themselves to.
The greatest leaders in the world have held themselves personally to a standard higher than anybody else could hold them to. They inspire people by setting their own standards, their own goals, and not settling for mediocrity.
A mediocre team is a reflection of mediocre leadership, and that mediocre leadership is a reflection of the standards and expectations the leader places on themselves. In the most simplistic version of this, if the leader is always 5 minutes late for meetings, and arrives disheveled and disorganized, you can be guaranteed that the team knows its OK to turn up disorganized and always late. Attitude reflects leadership.
Favorite Martial Arts Leadership Quote?
“The first responsibility of the leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” - Max DePree“
“A leader leads by example, whether he wants to or not.” - Anonymous
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” - Stephen Covey
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John Kennedy
Mr. Boggs - Sensei
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