What we can learn about leadership from sport captains
Do you think leadership is about big speeches and stepping up in important moments? Well not always. The author of The Captain Class demonstrates that it is not skill or charisma what distinguishes great captains from mediocre ones, but the more mundane choices they make every day and how they behave regularly. Their habits, methods and way around others is often what makes them great.
I picked up this book in an attempt to find a different business read about teams and their leaders and found it really thought provoking. Granted, I am into sports, so that made it easier, but even if you don´t really care about sports but maybe are a Manager, who does not consider himself a born leader and sometimes struggles with this in todays work-world, you may find book insightful.
In my case I don´t like to be in the spotlight, to be the centre of attention. I am not particularly comfortable talking to large audiences and equally don´t consider myself very charismatic, either. Now that does not always sit too well in the corporate world… I do however care for my team and am more proud of our common achievements, than my own personal ones. When I read this book, I understood that there is a different way of leading, very different from the corporate norm, but that has been proven successful and which we can incorporate (to a certain degree) into our workplace easily.
If you don´t want to read through the entire book, below are the points I took away from it.
Characteristics of big captains:
- They are relentless: they always give their absolute best, even in friendly and unimportant plays. And that is contagious to the rest of the members.
- They are in the background: taking more supportive roles and doing groundwork, rather than being the front row stars: in fact they mostly dislike being in the foreground.
- They have a very different communication style from the so called big leaders: ie they very rarely give big speeches. Their way of communicating with their team is ver
y practical, very intentional, often paired with high energy, very in the moment and coupled with lots of body language: eye-contact, even physical contact.
- They have an enormous emotional control and are able to let the right emotions out at the right moment, and keep the wrong ones at bay.
- They are hard to manage and often create conflict in the team, because they are very strong minded individuals that don´t shy away from conflict., mostly though this is constructive and they solve problems in the moment, too.
- They are rule benders: if needed for a big win they are willing push it to the edge or even bend the rules. They are not scared of confines and barriers.