September 24, 2010

How to Lead So Your Team Will Follow

“It has always been my philosophy, and I really believe this sincerely, that a football player is a person first, a tennis player is a person first, a swimmer is a person first. Then you go ahead and coach the activity that he’s participating in.” – Dick Vermeil, legendary football coach


Dick Vermeil is the only coach to ever win Coach of the Year at the high school level, junior college, NCAA Division I, and the NFL.


Some of you may recognize his name from the major motion picture, Invincible, where he gave Vince Papale an opportunity to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. Vermeil approached coaching a bit differently than other coaches who were obsessed with winning.


Vermeil was a leader first, football coach second. The best leaders see what’s possible for the group and empower the group members to reach that level. They know the details of performance extremely well and communicate those details in a way that inspires.


Inspiration comes from teaching–great leaders are great teachers. They use their sport or work to convey new ways of seeing the world; what’s possible, and how to live more fully, love more deeply, and experience life in ways that promote learning and growth.


When people have an inspiring vision for the future and are given tools to learn and grow, they will do whatever tasks they face with a higher level of proficiency, as well as with incredible loyalty. Leadership is the development of people, influencing them to connect with a vision beyond themselves.


This, of course, starts within. Are you connected to a vision beyond your own needs and wants?  How does this empower you?


Note: Some of the text above was taken from the book Inner Excellence.  Ten percent or more of every book sold goes to charities around the world. Isn’t it time you brought a little more Excellence in your life and those of others?