Leaders have to say what they do and do what they say. Do the basics well and don’t hide when things go badly. Give the people around you honest and useful feedback about their performances. Does the squad know what they can expect from you? More importantly, do you know?
More after the break
LOOK FOR INSPIRATION... AND COPY IT
Think of someone in sport whom you consider to be inspirational. Study how they talk, the way they interact with the people around them, even the way they walk. Now think of someone in sport whom you find completely uninspiring. Study their behaviour and pinpoint the key differences. Model yourself on the first.
CREATE A VISION
Create an inspiring vision for the future and communicate it to your team-mates. This will help your team to deliver in training sessions, matches and across the season. Jointly created visions and aims will always be more powerful and likely to be delivered than anything that is created by an individual.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Get to training early so you’re ready to go straightaway, rather than arriving as training starts. What’s more, always be early on matchdays. Make sure you keep your discipline. This doesn’t mean you never concede fouls or dispute decisions with the referee, but remember that you do gain huge credibility when people see you keeping focused in difficult situations.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Tell people what you want them to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do. Don’t waste time ranting about a mistake. When you catch yourself falling into this trap, stop. Re-evaluate the situation and think about how you should address your team-mate to get the best out of him. Explain exactly what you want from them.
KNOW YOUR TEAM-MATES
Take time to listen to your team-mates. Notice the words and phrases they use and use them in conversations with them, tailoring your delivery to the individual: some may need the hairdryer treatment while a quiet conversation out of earshot might work for others.