If everything you ever learned was learned in kindergarten, then everything you learned about leadership was learned from a college coach. Some of the greatest leaders are college football and basketball coaches.
They are able to motivate a group of people from all walks of life toward a common goal. Anyone can learn a lot about leadership from these college coaches. Here are some great examples.
- Be prepared.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban leaves nothing to chance. His teams are prepared for anything and everything they might see in a game. Saban follows the advice of another coaching legend, Tom Landry, who once said the will to prepare is more important than the will to succeed.
- Be a teacher.
At heart, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo is a teacher. In developing skills such as rebounding, Izzo teaches his players not only how to rebound, but why it is so important. Leaders can’t simply shout directions. They need to show their team the reasons why they are doing a particular task.
- Change is constant.
In 1971, Bear Bryant was known as a pretty good football coach at Alabama. He decided to change his entire offense that year. It was a huge gamble, but it paid off. Bryant would lead the Crimson Tide to eight SEC titles and three national championships over the next decade. Sometimes, leaders have to make difficult decisions to change for the benefit of the team.
- Be patient.
When Bobby Bowden took over the Florida State football program in 1976, his first team went 5-6. He could have given up, but he persevered and it took him 18 seasons before he led the Seminoles to their first national championship. Great leaders will show patience and tremendous foresight in attaining the ultimate goal, just like Bowden.