by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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Everybody knows who LeBron James is: NBA superstar, King James, NBA champion, league MVP, basketball legend. Now how about David Blatt? No, you don’t know him, that’s okay because outside of real NBA fans, the name will probably ring empty on most of the public’s ears. David Blatt is the recently fired head coach of LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Blatt is no slouch as a basketball coach, as he has earned worldwide recognition for a stellar coaching career throughout Europe and in the Olympics. With David Blatt as the coach of the Cavs and LeBron over the last 1 ½ seasons, the Cavs won 83 games with only 40 losses. Blatt, LeBron, and the Cavs won the NBA Eastern Conference title last year before losing in the NBA finals to the Golden State Warriors. At the time of this firing this season, Blatt’s Cavs were 30 – 11 and in 1st place in the conference. But the Cavs, Blatt, and LeBron could not beat their nemesis, the Warriors, in a couple of games this season. Despite the great record, Blatt was scapegoated as the problem and fired in the middle of the season. For the Cavs, and so many organizations in the world, it was the leader’s fault that things weren’t going as well as they wanted.
Leaders are the easy target when struggles occur within an organization and often pay the consequences. As the face of the organization and in charge of the direction of the organization, leaders are the tip of the spear. They become the focal point for adversaries and critics. They become the reason why struggles are happening. Suddenly everyone forgets about all of the leader’s successes. They turn a blind eye to the resume behind the leader that got them to where they are. In the case of Blatt, the Cavs upper management focused all of the blame for not beating the Warriors on Blatt’s shoulders. It wasn’t management’s fault for not bringing in the right mix of players to match up with the Warriors. It wasn’t the players’ faults for playing subpar basketball in those games. And it definitely wasn’t LeBron’s fault, well because you know it can’t be the star’s fault. So the leader of the team, the head coach, gets chopped. Easier to replace him and blame him then actually admit there are bigger problems in the organization.
Organizations throughout the world fall into this same trap. From businesses to schools, and everything in between, they seek a focal point where blame can be placed. It is a reality of the role of a leader. They will get a lot of credit when things are going well, but they better be ready for the criticism when issues arise. Is it fair? Did Blatt deserve to be fired in this case? Probably not, for a leader can’t possibly control, know absolutely every component of what is happening in the organization, or watch over every employee to ensure they are productive. Nevertheless, everyone expects the leader to know and be everything.
It is the reality of leadership, a reality that many inexperienced leaders are not ready for. They are not prepared for the criticism. They are not prepared to be the focal point of the critics. However, it is a reality that all leaders must come to grips with in order to be effective leaders. Leaders have to be ready for the blame. Leaders have to be constantly moving forward. Leaders have to be able to do their work without constantly looking over their shoulder for the next wave of blame. Easier said than done, but it is absolutely necessary for the possibility of effective leadership.
Having recently completed a Masters in Leadership Studies and moved into the role of principal at my school, I have come to see the importance of the language that we use while leading groups. During staff meetings, conversations with colleagues, and evaluations, the language that is used will be interpreted by those on the other end of the communication. Once the words leave our mouths, we lose control of how others will receive the message that we are intending to send. This reminds us to be intentional with the words that we choose. It can be difficult to have quality conversations with others when a term is being interpreted different ways. We can also run into issues when moving into fields in which we may not be an expert. The jargon of our respective fields, especially when not well defined, can lead to vague ideas and confusion. And worst of all, we sometimes can come upon situations where we do not have to words to have the conversations. All of these situations can inhibit the growth and progress of our organizations.
Part of the role of the leader is to clarify the words that are essential to the work of the organization. At my school, we realized the need to increase the rigor of our classroom instruction. Rigor tends to be a common area of growth for schools. Unfortunately, it is also a vague term. There is no one way to be rigorous, and the ideas of ways to be rigorous vary significantly. So, it was important that we had a common language and understanding of the term before we attempted to improve anything. To begin our process of finding a common language for rigor, I presented Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK). We reviewed the four levels in Webb’s system and discussed examples of each level. As a way to continue to turn the DOK terminology into our common language, I included it in our observational protocols and added it to our curriculum mapping software. I quickly began to hear an increase in the number of conversations about rigor. Since the teachers had a common measure and could understand their colleagues’ ideas easier, they were able to have a discussion. We have seen significant growth in the rigor of our instruction, and I attribute much of that to having the words to have the conversation.
Unfortunately, some ideas are difficult to define. The jargon of any field is filled with ideas that are essential for the work but are also cumbersome and vague. When we are faced with these ideas, we often speak as if we know what it is or we shy away from ever speaking about it. In education, there are terms like differentiated instruction and student-centered instruction. These are highly important terms that describe where good teaching is moving, but there has yet to be one simple definition for these ideas. The ideas themselves are too complex for a simple explanation. In these situations, we can try to find the best explanation we can and turn it into a common language. In some cases, this works fine and the organization is able to grow and improve with the new understanding of the term. Other times, the lack of clarity breaks down communication and prevents conversations from occurring. This in turn limits growth. One alternative that I have attempted to use at my school is to coin our own term. My teachers were hesitant to work with terms like differentiate instruction and student-centered instruction. I often heard comments like, “What does that even look like?” or “I kind of understand, but I don’t know if I’m doing it right.” These comments prevented them from engaging with the ideas, so we created our own term. We decided on discovery as our term to combine pieces of student-centered instruction with differentiated instruction and inquiry. This allowed my teachers to create an idea of what a good discovery lesson looked like. They were able to discuss how to make it rigorous, while engaging the students in different ways. Although we are still working on defining our term, we are having conversations. We can work together to define the idea, rather than stay away from them and avoid the conversations altogether.
Unfortunately, there are conversations out there where we simply do not have the words. In my graduate studies, a colleague would often say, “We don’t have the words for this.” It took me some time to understand what he meant, but it is an important idea. There are conversations about race, gender, religion, how someone annoys us at work, how the system prevents us from expressing ourselves that we have difficulty discussing. We have difficulty discussing these topics because our emotions and pride get in the way of the conversation. Rather than being able to discuss with your coworker their habits that frustrate you in a calm and respectful manner, we avoid the conversation and hold onto that frustration. We are afraid that if we have the conversation they will get emotional and prideful. We do not want to create turmoil, so we brush it under the rug. The problem with brushing it under the rug is the frustration is still there. If you continually brush things under the rug to avoid the conversation, it will come out in other places. Although these conversations are always different and need your complete presence, there are some ways that might help to make the conversations go smoothly. Naming your own flaws or part in the frustrating behavior helps to prevent the other person from feeling attacked. Also, explaining that you know the conversation will be difficult and might be hard to hear helps to set the scene for the discussion. This can help prevent the other person from feeling blindsided. But most importantly, we need to attempt to understand the situation better. If we get to know the situation on a deeper level, we can have greater compassion while having the difficult conversations.
In the end, the conversation is the important part of helping our organizations to grow. We do not always need to have a perfect conversation or understanding of a term. We just need to allow those in the organization to discuss the topics that need growth. If we are trying to increase rigor, we need to be discussing rigor. If we want to provide more support for diversity, then we need to be having those conversations. Using language is how we can create and sustain change and growth.
by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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The Star Wars movie series is a fun and engaging cinematic masterpiece that excites fans everywhere. But what can we learn from Star Wars about leadership? Simply put, we can learn tons! Roughly defined, leadership is the process by which a person influences others towards a common goal or vision. There are multiple variations of successful leadership, many of which are played out in the Star Wars galaxy. Here is a look at seven leadership theories through major characters in the Star Wars world (don’t worry, no spoilers here for the new Force Awakens).
Han Solo – Situational Leadership: The key to understanding situational leadership is that there are particular forms of leadership and leaders that fit specific situations. There is no better example of this then Han Solo, who is a low-life smuggler, but throughout the original series he showcases his leadership in key situations. He is not a leader 100% of time, exemplified in the fact that he leaves the Rebel Alliance and his friends at every chance he gets. However, when things get tough in certain situations, he comes flying back in to save the day and lead the Alliance. He is made to lead in intense situations, but not necessarily in times of peace.
Princess Leia – Transformational Leadership: Transformational leaders focus on influencing and motivating others, being concerned for their follower’s needs, as well being able to challenge their followers to be more innovative. Princess Leia exemplifies the skills of transformational leadership as she is a great motivator to others to achieve their greatness, even the stubborn Han Solo. She sets an overall vision for the Rebel Alliance that all members of the alliance can believe in and work to achieve. Despite big odds against the Rebels in many key situations, she constantly pushes her followers to come up with ideas for how they might beat the odds. There is no doubt that without Leia’s transformational leadership, the Rebel Alliance would have disbanded quickly.
Yoda – Spiritual Leadership: Spiritual leadership focuses on the leader’s ability to lead others through a hope or faith in a better world. In the case of Yoda’s leadership, his spiritual leadership focused on the Force as an influence on his follower’s actions. Throughout the series, Yoda connects others to this higher calling through his words and actions. When Luke tells him during his training that he cannot believe in the Force, Yoda explains that this is why he fails. He is able to get others to see that there is a higher calling for their lives.
Obi-Wan Kenobi – Servant Leadership: Servant leadership focuses on building better lives for others through service to those others. Throughout the series, Obi-Wan constantly is being a leader for his followers by serving those he was set to protect such as Queen Amidala and Luke Skywalker. He is even told by the Jedi Council that his role is not necessarily to be the greatest Jedi, but rather to prepare the ‘chosen one.’ He pays the ultimate price of servant leadership when he allows Vader to kill him so that his followers can escape and achieve success.
Luke Skywalker – Trait Leadership: The trait theories of leadership focused on the idea that leaders are born with certain traits that separate them from others and make them more inclined to be a leader. Since Luke was the son of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader), the remaining Jedi knew that he would possess the Jedi traits to lead the rebels against the Empire. They follow him closely waiting for his traits to come through. But as we know from his story, his traits are not enough to carry him as a leader, but rather he needs significant training from Yoda and Obi-Wan to develop into his leadership role, showing us that leadership traits only take a leader so far.
Emperor Palpatine – Autocratic leadership: When you hear the term autocratic leadership, the first examples to think of are of dictators and tyrants. Autocratic leadership is about having complete and utter control over a group of followers, who follow blindly without questioning the vision. Autocratic leaders such as Emperor Palpatine, often rule through ruthless tactics and instill fear in their followers. The Emperor is a ruthless and feared leader who has total authority, even over powerful Siths such as Darth Maul and Darth Vader. No one questions him in fear of the consequences.
Darth Vader – Transactional Leadership: Darth Vader was a master at transactional leadership, which is founded on a leader giving directions to achieve a goal and then rewarding or punishing based on performance towards the goal. It was very clear that all members of the Empire knew the consequences – a Force choke – if they failed to complete a task given to them by Vader. Admiral Ozzel found this out the hard way when he botched the raid on Hoth and was choked out via a ‘Skype’ session. Transactional leaders focus more on the tasks, such as taking on the Rebels, rather than the overall goal or vision. In fact, to his detriment, Darth Vader becomes consumed with the task of destroying Luke Skywalker and loses track of the overall vision of galactic supremacy.
The goal of this blog was to introduce everyone to seven key theories of leadership that are used on a regular basis in organizations throughout the world. By using examples that we can all connect to in the Star Wars movies, the leadership theories come to life in a fun and engaging way. May the Force be with you as you take on leadership in your own organization!
by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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At this time of year, Santa Claus and his myriad elves are hard at work preparing for another busy, hectic Christmas. We all know that Santa is a jolly old man whose sole task is to bring joy and happiness to the world. From the songs we sing to the images in every store we visit to the long lines to sit on his lap we are reminded constantly of this larger-than-life character who brings a smile to our faces. But what we miss in all of this holiday fun and excitement is the notion that Santa truly is the ultimate leader of a highly, highly effective organization that makes a difference in the world. He leads an enormous organization of employees (elves) who have bought into a common vision, work hard every day to achieve the vision, and do it all while enjoying life and having fun. If only our own organizations could be as successful as Santa’s. If only we could achieve our vision every year while having fun and enjoying our work. So what then are his secrets to leadership that make this possible? What can we glean from this jolly old man to help us to be more effective leaders in our organizations? Let’s take a sneak peek into the home of his organization – Santa’s Toy Shop – to learn more about his leadership and the secrets to his success.
Santa Has a Clear Vision Everyone Can Buy Into: The vision is clear in Santa’s Toy Shop: bring cheer, joy, and happiness to the world by building and delivering toys to every child (well unless you are the on the naughty list). Everyone in the organization clearly understands the overall vision and works hard every day of the year to achieve this vision. Nothing takes the organization away from this vision because it is clear and other goals and visions never sneak into the organization and take everyone off track. A single clear vision provides structure and enables everyone in the organization to know exactly where they are going.
Santa Has Developed an Action Plan to Reach the Vision: A vision is worthless if there is not a clear action plan to reach the vision. In Santa’s Toy Shop, the plan is simple: build toys; test out the toys; decorate the toys; wrap the toys; and then deliver the toys on the big day. Every elf knows their role and expectations and works at their piece of the overall plan to achieve the big vision. The action plan draws the road map of how to get from where the organization currently is to where they want to go in the future. The road map allows every member of the organization to know exactly how to achieve the overall vision through a series of small, achievable steps.
Santa Makes Sure Every Member of the Organization Knows They Are Important: As an organization works through a solid action plan, there is a need for the leader to continue to inspire members of the organization and to make them know that they are important. We never hear about Santa yelling at elves for mistakes or being a leader that elves are afraid of. He positively backs every person in his organization and provides inspirational talks when the work becomes difficult. His positive and joyful attitude instills confidence throughout the Toy Shop and allows the elves to excel at what they are good at. Every member of the organization knows that they are an important piece in achieving the overall vision.
Santa is an Authentic Leader: As a leader, Santa doesn’t try to be something he is not. He isn’t trying to run for political office or getting mixed up in Twitter battles, he isn’t trying to create a new energy drink or trying to branch off into new domains such as clean energy, and he definitely isn’t looking to move his Toy Shop to a warmer climate with lower taxes. Santa is content with being who he is, a jolly old man who builds toys and who wants to make people happy. He knows who he is and lives that authentic self every day. His authenticity builds trust in his employees, and provides them the strength to move forward knowing their leader isn’t going anywhere and isn’t going to change the vision for the organization.
Santa is all About Having a Positive Culture in the Toy Shop: There are few organizations that exist with as positive of a culture as Santa’s Toy Shop. It is a place where everyone is having fun while being highly effective. There is time for fun and playing with the toys. There are built in break times to eat cookies baked fresh by Mrs. Claus. There are times to bring the team together to sing Christmas songs. The elves want to be a part of this organization because there is a positive culture that they not only want to be a part of, but want to add to with their own cheer. Elves aren’t hiding in offices or cubicles hoping they don’t have to talk to anyone or be bothered as they work. There is a team atmosphere embedded within the positive and fun culture that brings joy to the work day.
While few of us take the time during the holidays to think deeply about Santa’s leadership, these five key facets of his leadership show each of us how leadership is enacted in one of the most successful and productive organizations in the world. As we look at Santa’s Toy Shop, we can see a perfect example of the impact of effective leadership practices on an organization. While our own visions of success are probably a lot smaller than bringing joy and happiness to every child in the world, they are nonetheless important for our organizations and the world. So as we return to our organizations after a Christmas season filled with chocolates, toys, gifts, fun, singing, and time spent with loved ones, it is important to remember the lessons learned from Santa’s Toy Shop. We can look to emulate Santa’s leadership in our own organizations and instill a positive culture that is constantly and effectively moving towards a vision that we all agree on. Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!
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With the newest installment in the Star Wars movies series set to open later this week amidst incredible anticipation, I thought it a perfect time to examine leadership through one of the most popular figures in the series: Darth Vader. The entire series is founded on the time-tested battle between good (the Rebel Alliance and Jedi’s) and evil (the Empire and Siths). Darth Vader’s role as one of the top leaders on the evil side makes it very difficult for many people to accept that he was a leader. In our society we are quick to name leaders who we recognize as being on the ‘good side’ of any cause. When it comes to someone who is leading on the ‘bad side,’ we struggle to accept that these people are also leaders, even though they use many of the same skills and techniques that the leaders use on the good side. The main reason for this struggle with naming leadership is that we assign a value to the ultimate goal and if the ultimate goal of the leadership does not fit our ethical or moral values than we cannot accept that leadership is involved. In this case, the ultimate goal of Vader’s leadership is to wipe out the Rebel Alliance and the Jedi’s so that the Empire and Siths can have complete control. None of us would agree with the ultimate goal of Vader’s leadership especially when innocent planets such as Alderaan had to be blown up. However, it is hard to argue with the fact that he was displaying leadership skills, as described below, and ultimately was a leader despite our issues with his vision for a completely evil galaxy.
Transactional Leadership: Darth Vader was a master at transactional leadership, which is founded on a leader giving directions to achieve a goal and then rewarding or punishing based on performance towards the goal. It was very clear that all members of the Empire knew the consequences – a Force choke – if they failed to complete a task given to them by Vader. Admiral Ozzel found this out the hard way when he botched the raid on Hoth and was choked out via a ‘Skype’ session. The fear of the consequences, and the witnessing of these consequences enacted on others, motivated his followers to achieve success.
Leadership by Example: One of Darth Vader’s best leadership skills was that he lead by example at all times. He was an active leader who would not just send out lower-level employees – Stormtroopers – to do his bidding, but would rather fight right alongside them. He was at all times a part of any mission that he had tasked others with and would not hide behind his authority role to send others to do his work. A perfect example is when he got into his TIE Fighter to go after the Rebels as they prepared to blow up the Death Star rather than getting on a shuttle to escape. His leadership by example obviously motivated his ‘staff’ to fight harder when their leader was at their side.
Charismatic Leadership: Darth Vader was a charismatic leader in that he had an extraordinary effect on his followers. He had millions of highly committed and devoted ‘employees’ who believed in his vision of wiping out the Rebel Alliance. He does not fit our typical idea of charismatic leadership in that he was not a great speaker who could motivate others by his words, but his devotion to a vision that was shared by all members of the organization was charismatic. Many of his followers were willing to sacrifice all to achieve this vision, which is an example of charismatic leadership.
Of course, all three of these major leadership skills are implemented in the pursuit of an unethical vision – the complete annihilation of innocent people – which can make it very difficult to admit that Darth Vader was expertly implementing leadership skills. This is an example of why there is such a debate amongst leadership experts as to whether the value of the vision and outcome determines whether actions or skills are truly leadership. You may still be questioning whether he was a leader or not, but from my perspective as a PhD in Leadership Studies, I have no doubt that Darth Vader was a top-notch leader, albeit with a really bad overall goal, but what more do you want from a Sith Lord.
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With Halloween right around the corner, I was helping my kids get ready for a night of trick or treating. They were so excited, but most of all because they were going to get to wear their costumes to school. It reminded me of how much fun I had getting to wear my costume to school, like the year I was Frankenstein, complete with champagne corks as bolts in my neck. In the mountains of academic work my kids have to deal with on a daily basis, it is the fun things at school that they talk most about at the end of their day. From project-based learning opportunities, to singing in music class, to art projects, to playing the Spongebob rock climbing game in PE, they excitedly talk about these fun experiences at the end of every day. My kids love fun learning experiences, like counting the pumpkin seeds that their class just carved out of a pumpkin, or learning about their school campus by reading a story on the gingerbread man and then looking for him all over campus (and being introduced to all the rooms and people in the school), only to return to their room to find a gingerbread man cookie and a note from him saying, “You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”
I never hear about the worksheets they fill out, or the writing practice time, or the practice workbooks they do in class. Don’t get me wrong, there is obviously a need for these learning tasks as well, but I wonder if in the modern push for high performance in schools that we, as a society, have lost the ability to find time for fun. It is no different for us as adults in our workplaces. Work these days is a grind for many employees and organizations, filled with the monotony of task completion after task completion after task completion. When I worked as a researcher in a higher education organization, I moved from one study to another, without any allotted time to celebrate good work that we completed or to relax and have fun. It was like being on a hamster wheel as one project after another continued to encircle me as I became dazed, confused, and ultimately burned out.
My colleagues and I tried to find time on our own to sneak in some fun and those are the best memories I have, particularly the time we spent watching World Cup soccer games and March Madness during the work day on our giant high tech video screen. Those days were all about rejuvenation while we laughed, joked, talked about things other than work, ordered pizza, and enjoyed each other’s company. At one school where I taught years ago, the whole staff planned a potluck for one Friday each month with three rules: 1) no talking about teaching and leave work and issues at the door; 2) nobody but faculty and staff could be in the room so we could relax and be off for a few minutes; and 3) have fun and eat! We all loved these days and looked forward to them and they brought us together as a staff.
But these moments are rare in most organizations, and it is causing workplaces and schools to be devoid of happiness and fun. Think about your own situations and organizations and think back to the last time where you actually had fun. No, I am not talking about the company picnic or holiday party or birthday cake, but when did you stop for a few minutes and have fun during the work day? When did you last laugh or smile, or enjoy a cup of coffee with a colleague without kibitzing about work issues? Oh, it’s been awhile I am guessing. But we can’t lose these moments of fun! We can’t continue to run the hamster wheel and think it will ever stop! These fun moments can breathe life back into an organization and can increase productivity and reduce stress and burnout.
So as you prepare for Halloween and see all of the kids running around excited, laughing, and having fun with friends, do not forget that you were once those kids having fun as well. You may think that was a long time ago (and for many of us it was), but how can we get back into the happy, fun mindset so our jobs don’t burn us out? How can you start a fun tradition that everyone looks forward to? How can you build in moments of fun to bring people together to laugh? How can you bring smiles to the faces of your colleagues and reduce their stress at the same time? How can you make a difference in the lives of your colleagues and friends?
If you have any great stories to tell or ideas to share about how your organization has fun, then post them in the comment box so that others can learn from your experiences! Most of all, don’t forget that it’s okay to smile, laugh, and have fun with your colleagues every now and then!
by, Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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As another NFL Sunday of football rolls by, I couldn’t help but think about the links between NFL coaches and the study of leadership. While the game of football is action-packed with aggressive competitiveness being displayed throughout every game, it is also a game of schemes, plans, and decision-making processes. The leadership of NFL coaches plays a major role in the success of the team (of course, as any fan can attest, so do the actions of the players), and yet there is no one way of coaching that is most effective. Each head coach implements a different style of leadership, and at times will switch their style of leadership throughout a game. As I pondered the attributes of leadership during this game day, I couldn’t help but try to personify various leadership theories through famous NFL coaches. So here goes my take on leadership:
‘Great Man’ or ‘Hero’ Theory:
Coach: Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers
Great man theory (yes sorry to the women out there, but this old school theory suggested only ‘men’ could be leaders – an idea that has long since been dismissed) was based on great figures in history who were leaders (often on the battlefield). There was no science behind this theory or any justification as to what made these people great leaders, but everybody knew they were great. Vince Lombardi is a legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers and the first coach to win a Super Bowl. Most of us who prop him to the top of all coaches don’t actually base it on any great skill or characteristic, but rather we all just know he was a great leader.
Coach: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Charismatic leadership is all about rallying followers towards a common goal or vision through an ability to connect with the masses through impassioned speeches and a ‘rah, rah’ attitude. These leaders are visionary and inspirational and have extraordinary effects on their followers who become emotionally attached to the leader. Pete Carroll personifies this style of leadership (both in Seattle and at USC) in his fun-loving ability to connect with his players and rally them to be champions. Watch him jumping around the sidelines and chest-bumping his players to see charismatic leadership on display!
Coach: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Transactional leadership is all about exchanges between the leader and the followers that will help the organization succeed, in the case of an NFL team - win. This is not your ‘rah-rah’ inspirational speech leader, but rather a leader who rewards followers on their performance, always maintains authority, and manages all aspects of the organization to ensure successful production. There is no coach that more personifies this form of leadership than Bill Belichick. Listen to his post-game press conferences and you will get a very good feel that this leader is all about getting the job done without all of the hype and talk. X’s and O’s and performance reign supreme for this transactional leader!
Coach: Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan (formerly San Francisco 49ers)
Transformational leadership focuses on idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. This form of leadership appeals to the follower’s values and goals and sets the entire organization on a path towards a higher shared vision. It doesn’t get muddled in the X’s and O’s, but rather tackles the overall vision of success and is all about organizational change. If you look at Jim Harbaugh’s career path moving from the University of San Diego to Stanford to the 49ers and to Michigan, he has won immediately at every point. He quickly comes in and turns programs around by getting everyone on the road to a higher vision of success than just winning the next game. He engages players with inspirational speeches and influences the entire team and their performance. His famous team slogan after wins at Stanford says it all: “Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY!”
Hopefully this look at four of the major leadership theories through the lens of NFL coaches will help you to better understand the theories of leadership!