Brock Washington played competitive basketball from an early age. As his game progressed and it became clear that he had the skills to play competitively at the high school and college level, Brock Washington discovered that he liked assuming the team leader role. It was just as gratifying to score the winning basket as it was to put a teammate in a position to score it. Coaches look for players who elevate the play of the other four teammates on the court. Brock Washington is writing today to discuss some different ways to grow as a leader on the basketball court. Brock can also confidently say that many of these skills directly correlate with leadership success in the business world later in life.
The only way to thrive as a leader is to earn the respect of every teammate. Respect is earned in a few ways, but it is mostly a matter of effort. No one wants to listen to someone who isn’t working as hard as they are. Every successful leader on the basketball court and in life must put in an all-out effort. Leaders have a mentality of being the first to arrive to practice and the last to leave. Brock Washington notes that showing a willingness to make sacrifices for the team’s betterment is how respect is earned over time.
Brock Washington always found that his leadership skills improved on the basketball court the more he provided teammates with positive reinforcement. Players in competitive sports put much pressure on themselves to perform. There will be plays that don’t go exactly as planned. When this happens, it’s on the team leader to ensure that a player doesn’t lose their confidence. Brock Washington would always offer encouragement as he noticed how much it helped his teammates remain focused and move on to the next play.
Even the best basketball teams go through periods of struggle. Sometimes shots that typically go in are bouncing off the rim. When these occasions occur, a leader needs to monitor the talk of their teammates. Every team on a basketball court and certainly in an office space will have a number of different personality types. Certain people will quickly turn to negativity. It’s essential that a leader is aware of players who choose to call out others as opposed to lifting them up. Some players may respond to constructive criticism, but the criticism must be based on wanting to help the player and the team. Complaining about a teammate’s play does not help anyone reach the team’s objective.
While teammates certainly gain a lot from having a great leader on the court, the leader gains so much more. For starters, taking pride in one’s craft is a great way to build confidence. Brock Washington notes that it is extremely rewarding to know that maximum effort has been put into a goal. Even if the team falls short, a leader can rest easy when they know they did everything they could to help the team achieve their goals. It’s also rewarding to see a team look to you as a leader. Many other players that Brock Washington saw as leaders on former teams have gone on to leadership positions in their industry of choice.
The world will always benefit from people willing to take charge and set an example for their team. The hardest part of being a leader is that there are no days off. People will follow leaders who stay within the work. While it’s great if a leader can be vocal and encourage their teammates, leaders don’t have to be the loudest player in the locker room. In fact, many great leaders choose their words extra carefully. Brock Washington notes that selective talking can often bring people in and have them focus when a leader does talk. It also helps that leaders who don’t talk often are actively listening to their teammates.
If you are ready to take the next step as a leader, commit to your teammates’ success. Brock Washington encourages leaders to stay resolute in their goals. It may take time for the team to accept a new leader, but they will as long as the person taking on the leadership role is consistently working hard day in and day out.