AFL, SANFL, Sports In General, Pioneers In Leadership?



Have sporting coaches been pioneers in leadership all this time and we’ve not known?

Of late I’ve been an avid listener to 1395 AM radio and it features a lot of sports discussion by players and coaches, past and present, and I must say, from someone with an interest in leadership in the organizational sense, these guys are truly pioneers of leadership in my opinion.

From the simple passion for the game, for the players, for the spectators, a lot of key qualities can be taken from the way a sports team or club runs. Take the AFL or the SANFL for example, these players are hand picked by senior members of the profession and are then nurtured in to becoming machines of their sports. They offer a sense of achievement to the spectators, the clubs and their fellow teammates and are often held in high regard in our communities and the wider population.

I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to ex coaches and players and the way they speak of each other, of the game and of their appreciation for all they have learnt in their journey’s and they can often be short lived, due to the intense physical and mental nature of the game. They speak with such high regard for each other, for the game and for the industry as a whole and I find it quite admirable.

Within your career, profession or organization, would you say that you or your colleagues speak as highly of your workplace and or chosen profession? I’m sure that there will be a portion that will say with out a doubt yes, just as I am sure that there is a portion that will say no. I’m confident in saying that those that reach an elite level of sports, regardless of the sport would consistently hold themselves, their competitors and the sport itself in high regard and where they fall on times where this is not so, have an immense support network to catch them should they fall, be they actually fall physically or fall mentally, and to rehabilitate them into reaching their peak again.

If we were to run our organizations similar to that which the sporting industry runs and really coach our employees, not only in their roles at work but in their lives from a holistic point of view, what difference would that make to not just our profits or measurable results, but to our employees as humans?

There is something to be said in my opinion about the way in which sporting coaches truly live and breathe their passion via sports and the industries as a collective. It’s not just about putting in 38 hour weeks and then going home to their lives, it’s about diet, training, physical and mental strength and endurance and ensuring that everything comes together in a harmonious balance to produce a staggering end result.

I’m sure its been done, but I’d be curious to model an organization around the sporting model and really take a holistic approach to ones life once they commence working for an organization, or for that matter, choose to work for themselves within a particular niche or industry. There are so many coaches for this or for that these days, practitioners or guides, personal trainers and so on but in this day and age of vast amounts of readily available knowledge and paths to take, where does the central point of focus sit if not with the individual themselves or an individual driving the individual or the collective of individuals? There really is no limit for leadership and the buck does not necessarily sit or need to sit with just one person but I find that I come across so much discussion of “source” these days, that being the source of knowledge or wisdom or information which is so often left open to interpretation, but does there need to be an element of control that sits with one leader or in the case of sports, the coach?

As always, thanks for reading and I’d love to know your thoughts.


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