Leadership is needed on all fronts.
Not simply from the top down. But even more so from the bottom up, from left to right and right to left.
There can never be a circumstance where some are waiting for others to lead – or worse yet – some think only others can lead. The moment is lost. Opportunity squandered. That inertia will crush a team and kill a season.
It has to start somewhere.
This being said, leadership first must come from within.
Holding oneself to a higher standard and leading a life full of intention. This brand of discipline is not constraining, punitive or burdensome.
On the contrary.
This level of leadership grants one greater independence. It focuses thought, word and deed on only those things that meet the aspirations of a higher standard and the best intentions. There can be no internal discourse once this commitment has been made. No quibbling. Only the action, the follow through and the finishing.
When you lead yourself in this manner – you set the example.
Others will see that discipline and self-mastery is not a burdensome and debilitating endeavor. They will witness your exhilaration in how you have chosen to pursue all that life brings you. Good and bad. Exciting and mundane. Big and small.
Others will want that for themselves.
But only if you have the courage to show them how great it can be.
This is not limited to starters.
This applies to all; special teams, second string, scout, JV, and freshman.
Can you imagine if you had just 25% of all of the players engaged in this brand of leadership? How long do you think it would take to spread and grow? I bet that percentage would double in a heartbeat if all could bear witness to the superlative examples of a few.
Once you can capture all this and place it in the proper context – for the good of the team as a whole and for each individual in particular – then and only then will you have truly led.
True – it must start with you.
But it is first and foremost about that guy next to you.
And raising them up.
To learn to lead themselves.
My two cents.