I am trying to help the football players who will be seniors next year learn how to lead. In doing so I think I developed an original acronym that provides six keys to leadership.
I like the word direct. I like how it is an active word. I like how it means to conduct, to tie together. I like how it implies the shortest route. I like how it conveys timeliness and hustle and relentlessness. I also like that it means forward or blunt.
Six keys to leadership:
Destination. You have to figure out which port your group is trying to reach. Leaders set the goals. You must examine the resources at hand and determine the means of achieving the goal. Work backwards from the goal and put together a map of the steps that are needed to take place in order to reach it. Share the relevant information about the goal and your vision for achieving it. The destination drives the destiny. The destination determines the day.
Initiative. You must adopt a mindset that nothing will get done without your active effort. Foster in others both awareness and self motivation. You have to encourage the group to see what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal. You must encourage them to take action on their own. To do what needs to be done without being told. You must look for and recognize this self-starting and self-motivating ideal. You must accept that it will not always be perfect. Sometimes rewarding a display of initiative is far more important than deciphering the appropriateness of the action that was taken. Initiative is a high level asset that requires awareness, courage, and commitment.
Redirect. You must keep the group on task. The minute the leader lets up, so will everyone else. The leader must be the most focused, and driven member of the team. The leader must provide the discipline for others and prove his or her own self-discipline. While the leader may need to adapt along the way, and adopt methods conducive to getting the most out of the group, the leader must always have the destination first and foremost in his or her mind. The course may change, the destination should not.
Evaluate. A group member may vary in their level of character and mental toughness from day to day. Group members will vary in their level of commitment. Evaluate the group. Evaluate the progress toward the goal. Evaluation leads to proper preparation as it reveals pace and positioning as related to the goal.
Communicate. Listen. Broaden the means of communication so that each member has an opportunity to both speak and listen in a format that they are most comfortable. Listen and observe at least twice as much as you speak. The group members will be more sensitive to the tone of your communication then they will be to the words you use.
Teach. Remember the teachers you learned best from. The ones in and out of school. Not your favorites per say, but the ones you learned the most from. Adopt their techniques. Leave people better for having worked with you.
I just want you to know what is possible.