Here are four ways to become a better leader:
1. Earn trust. Leadership is about earning trust. People will only follow your lead if they trust you. As a leader, you can earn trust in a number of ways, including:
- Helping your players (or teammates) get results.
- Showing others that you truly care about them as people.
- Connecting with others on a personal level.
- Being authentic and leading by example.
- Being a servant leader and putting the team first.
These are the basics of leadership. If you make earning trust your main priority, you’ll greatly improve as a leader.
2. Gain experience. Like most things, leadership is best learned through doing. The more experience you gain as a leader, the better you’ll become. After years of being a leader, you’ll have faced a variety of challenges and discovered many solutions and lessons. As a younger athlete or coach, it’s important to put yourself in leadership roles and gain as much experience as you can. It’ll pay off a ton in the long run!
3. Educate yourself. While gaining lots of experience is the surest way to become a better leader, there are ways to speed up the process. The main way is to educate yourself and learn as much about the art and science of leadership as you can. The best leaders are students of the game. They read lots of books, go to leadership workshops, watch educational videos, and seek out mentors. There’s so much to learn as a leader. If you make daily learning a habit, you can make great improvements over time.
4. Practice your skills. Like I mentioned earlier, leadership is best learned through doing. Reading lots of leadership books means almost nothing if you don’t apply what you learn. The best leaders also take the time to practice their leadership skills in their free time. They refine their coaching philosophy, practice their public speaking skills, and improve their listening skills. Like great athletes, great leaders practice deliberately to master their craft.
Four steps to becoming a better leader:
- Show up to practice every day with the intention of earning trust.
- Educate yourself in your free time.
- Apply what you learn during practices and games.
- Keep gaining experience and trust the process!