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Nurturing Fellowship to Make Better Leaders – PHE America Health Education

3 minutes read

Go to school, high school, job, or search for education, business, or coaching on Twitter. Most likely, you will quickly come across messages and quotes extolling the virtues of leadership. As trainers, we are looking for managers to stabilize our teams in pressure situations, to take responsibility for the game and to set the tone of the competition in practice. That is why we appoint captains and form management boards. But as much as we want to develop great leaders, success and maximum growth really rests on our followers in the form of following.

With our team, we define followers as the ability to recognize successful ideas and behaviors outside of ourselves and willingly follow them in order to increase the interest of the group or team. Allegiance requires humility to accept that another’s idea or method may be more valuable and essential than our own to the accomplishment of the group’s mission. Successful following also requires discipline to work wholeheartedly with the current leader.

Photo by: Roman Boed
Photo by: Roman Boed

How does a leader create allegiance? It starts by emphasizing the idea that everyone must be a willing leader and Pendant. Regardless of leadership title (captain, coach, senior, etc.), each team member must be allowed to lead and learn when to face and lead the challenge and when to step back and follow. Laszlo Bock, former senior vice president of People Operations at Google, responsible for hiring, described this desirable trait as an aspiring leader: “The idea that when you see a problem, you step in and try to address it. Then get out when you are no longer needed. This willingness to give up power is really important ”(Lamont, 2015, para. 6). In other words, aspiring leaders are successful followers, they step in to lead when their ideas are best and step back and follow when someone else’s expertise is more valuable.

In an effort to develop better following, and consequently better leaders, we incorporate various strategies into our basketball practices and games to enable everyone to lead and follow. For example, in competitive scrimmage-like exercises, we designate different captains every day, regardless of age or ability. During our shooting practice series, we designate a different player every day to count and change the range or type of shot at the right moment. We can randomly call another player, whether he’s playing or on the bench, to lead a group in practice. We also simulate in-game scenarios and leave strategy and execution to the teams themselves to see who levels up and who follows. Applying this approach in practice develops both leaders and followers and carries over to competition. I’m also stepping down as head coach and allowing my assistants to take control if necessary. This encourages a higher buy-in as we follow the same path to maximize success.

While not as celebrated or quotable as leadership, succession is perhaps more valuable in leading a team to success. By enabling all team members to strengthen and lead if necessary, they can get out and pursue it with as much energy and investment as possible. Followers are often more committed to the team when they know their voice has value. Likewise, captains and designated leaders improve their trustworthiness and effectiveness as leaders when they show that they have the confidence and humility to follow the insights of other team members. Leaders become great leaders when they work to become better followers.

References
Lamont, T. (2015-04-06). How to Get a Job on Google: Meet the man who hires and fires. Retrieved May 12, 2020 from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/04/how-to-get-job-at-google-meet-man-hires-fires

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