It has been said that words alone don’t teach but experiences do.
While racing in a 24 hour adventure race in Southern Indiana last year, I had A LOT of time to contemplate how team sports (specifically, adventure racing) can teach you a lot about the attributes of being a good leader.
If you’ve ever had the experience of participating on a team or training with a group for an event, you know that sports provide a training ground to practice and cultivate leadership abilities. They provide the opportunity to play with integrity; edify your teammates; create a culture that people want to be a part of; inspire others to a common vision; motivate others to perform beyond their limiting beliefs; fuel passion; be a life-long learner and team player.
In this first post of three I will talk about integrity and edification.
Integrity is the cornerstone of leadership. In multi-sport team racing you are as strong /fast as your slowest/weakest teammate during any given element of the race. It’s imperative that the team is held together by mutual trust and the well-being of each person is of high consideration.
Good leaders recognize the importance of personal and professional integrity and they walk their talk.
Great leaders and great adventure racers always uplift, inspire and build up their teammates. Imagine being sleep deprived and pushing your body beyond what you imagine is physically possible. As if that is not challenging enough, imagine having a team member that is making negative comments about your performance.
It doesn’t serve a team to focus solely on what’s not going well and it doesn’t work in leadership either.To reach ultimate success in your organization, lifting people up and recognizing them is one of the surest ways to help them to shine brighter and do amazing things for themselves and the company.
Although these are not the only things required for great leaders (I will cover more in the next message), this is a great start when it comes to what I’ve experienced working in a team and working with teams.