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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Cook

You Don't Need a 'C'​ To Be a Leader

team huddle in the field

We talk about leadership a lot. In the workplace, in sports teams and organizations, and frequently see those roles be glamorized in movies and TV shows (as a hockey player myself, the movie, Miracle, comes to mind).

Being a leader is something that many people covet for themselves, but don't know how to attain and there is a simple reason why.

Many people think of leadership as a role or title. When people think about leadership in sports, the first images that usually come to mind are coaches, quickly followed by the Captain and Assistant Captains for the team. In reality, this could not be more wrong. 

Leadership is not a title or role that is handed to you. Leadership is a set of behaviors that you choose to embody each and every day.

Be Vulnerable.

This is one of the harder skills for many to engage in, but vulnerability is the basis for creating trust in a team,  a safe space and environment for your athletes and teammates to open up and share their own thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

Be Present and Listen.

Being an active listener is an essential skill for any leader. People want to be heard so listening and understanding what is being communicated to you will foster more trust in those relationships and will also help you to address any problems or make changes for the betterment of the team.

Try not to get caught up in your own thoughts during those conversations. It is easy to get sidetracked and completely miss something important being shared. Make a mental note and come back to the present moment.

You Don’t Need to Know Everything.

Nobody is perfect, including you. Progress over perfection is what we always say. Be honest when you don’t have an answer, ask for help when you need it,  and remain open minded when your athletes or teammates make suggestions to you.

Lead by Example.

You can’t  just talk the talk. You’ve got to walk the walk. No different than the old adage of ‘treat people the way you want to be treated’, it is crucial that you ‘show up the way you want others to show up’. 

If you are interested in learning more about leadership as a coach or athlete, reach out directly and we can have a discussion about it or you can book a complimentary coaching call.

This newsletter is associated with The Athletic Mind podcast. Listen to the full episode here.


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