My nephew’s soccer team recently got a new coach and they were playing a pretty tough team. As the kids ran up and down the field, I noticed the differences in the coaches. My nephew’s coach was passive, looking at his phone, talking to his wife and generally not caring what happened in the game. Now, this is a group of 7 to 8 year olds, so they’re not on the Olympic training team. However, the opposing team’s coach was a completely different story. He had a playbook, he walked up and down the field with the kids, he was engaged and cared about the game.
As I watched goal after goal scored by the opposing team, it dawned on me. These kids are so young, but effective leadership is still so important. You could see the look on my nephew’s face as they were losing terribly. His initial enthusiasm waned and he wasn’t trying as hard. The kids on the opposing team were high fiving each other and smiling. It all had to do with their leader. If my nephew’s coach had been an effective leader, they could have won or at least had a fighting chance.
Having an effective leader whether in sports or in an office environment is so important. With an ineffective leader you have ineffective employees. Processes fall by the wayside, things don’t get done, and employees feel let down. A manager’s job is to work with their employees, coaching them, challenging them and praising them. Of course, there are days where all managers feel overhwhelmed and stressed. But, you have to remember that your team is counting on you to lead them through these challenges. Whether your team is a success is up to you. Are you an effective leader or are you looking at your phone like my nephew’s coach, waiting for the end of the game?