A successful leader in sports should focus on relationship-oriented communication. Creating a supportive, trusting, and respectful environment is essential for any coach that wishes for his team to be successful. Any coach that wishes to achieve this type of environment should actively look for and listen to the opinions of the people they work for, recognizing the importance and validity of every individual's feelings.
Because every player has a unique combination of personality and skill, being about to effectively communicate with each individual player on a team is an important leadership trait for any coach.
A Legacy of Leadership: Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi is one of America’s most famous football coaches. He started his National Football League (NFL) career as offensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1954 to 1958 and served as Head Coach for the Green Bay Packers. He led the Packers to five league championships during his nine years as coach from 1959 to 1967.
Lombardi's Lessons in Leadership
1. Winning is a habit
Lombardi saw winning as a mindset and habit that had to be cultivated. As a leader, you should have the desire to win and not fall into the trap of mediocrity. Start thinking of winning as a habit, and notice if the sum of your words and actions are leading you toward success or away from it.
2. Pay the price it takes
Lombardi believed one cannot bypass hard work on the way to success. Remember that the bigger the success you desire, the harder and smarter you’ll need to work.
3. Take responsibility for your role as a leader
Lombardi was always prepared to take on the burden of competition, which ultimately relieved the players of pressure. This also built trust between him and his team — trust that if both sides focused on their roles, they could achieve success.