Tag Archive for 'leader'

Leader’s characteristics when the country is under stress

True leaders become particularly important in times of increased stress. What we are experiencing, with the spread of the coronavirus, is one of these times when those in positions of responsibility acquire greater visibility, must be perceived as authoritative and must make decisions that are useful to the common welfare, showing understanding of the situation in the country.

Leaders are individuals who should be comfortable enough to face difficult days such as those they put at risk:

  • the well-being and health of people for whom they have direct (in the case of companies) or indirect responsibility (in the case of representatives of public institutions, public health and local authorities),
  • the geographical and social environment in which they operate,
  • the sense of social responsibility and the values on which the organization they lead and the interests of all those who support it are based.

Leaders then take decisions in accordance with these three factors, in agreement and sharing them with public institutions and those relevant to him. This requires leaders to have specific knowledge of the present reality, the ability to collaborate with representatives of the other organizations involved, awareness and sense of responsibility of the social value of their work in these moments, to know how to explain the meaning of their decisions and to have knowledge of the results they intend to achieve with these decisions.

Every leader must take decisions, even difficult ones, knowing they must be inspired to keep united the social environment for which they are responsible in their field. These days it is not enough to think before talking. Even before that, it comes: to document and share their ideas with those who have expertise and play a specific role on public health issues.

This is not theory, but enables socially responsible leadership.


How the coaches have to build cohesion

In this early period of the team games season, I am often asked how to improve the cohesion of a team especially by the coaches who work in junior teams and and also not professional teams. I make this distinction because among these coaches there is a widespread idea that having little time available, everything that goes beyond the technical work done in the field is unnecessary work, which we do not have time to do, precisely because: “We are not a professional team, where the players are always available.”

This attitude is the motivation that drives many coaches to believe that the players must adapt to their working method and the hierarchies proposed. Physical and technical/tactical preparation are the masters and if someone doesn’t agree, it’s worse for him/her.

Leadership is essentially manifested in the administration of a training program that must be followed without discussion. They start from correct considerations (limited time, reduced economic resources, not optimal hours for training) to arrive at wrong conclusions. Those who do not accept this approach are usually labeled as lazy, unwilling to make sacrifices or presumptuous.

Unfortunately for them, the culture of work and team cohesion are essential factors in a team sport and are not built with this approach. Team performance instead draws its strength from the daily training of the concept of US: the winning performance comes from the integration of the behavior of various players, teaching more players to do different things well, together and at the same time.

Coach has to:

  1. Encourage participation by listening to the players’ suggestions
  2. Avoide favouritism
  3. Reward altruistic behaviour
  4. Reduce individualistic behaviour
  5. Assign challenging and achievable goals to each player
  6. Assign each player a specific role
  7. Encourage a learning and collaborative training climate
  8. Stimulate maximum commitment and constantly reinforce it
  9. Always support the team when it is in negative momentum
  10. Spend time with athletes to evaluate their commitment to training
  11. Analyse coldly with the team the results of the matches

The question for coaches is: how much time do you spend developing these performance factors?


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The optimist goes beyond the problems

The research data in favor of leading optimists are quite substantial. These people show that they know how to go beyond the difficulties, perceiving the problems as opportunity rather than a threat. These leaders see others positively, expecting the best from them.

In detail the attitudes of the optimists and the pessimists are the following:

  1. The optimist accepts stressful events, learning something from these situations; while the pessimist does not address situations that can be stressful and displays limited awareness of the problems.
  2. The optimist is focused on the task being done, while the pessimist is focused on the negative aspects of the experience.
  3. The optimist is geared to find the best solution, while the pessimist worries and develops repetitive negative thoughts.
  4. The optimist manages effectively the emotional reactions, while the pessimist escapes the problems exacerbating some behaviors (eg: feeding in an exaggerated or wrong way, showing a state of excessive fatigue, isolating themselves from others or by searching at all costs psychological support).
  5. The optimist addresses the problem situations, while the pessimist would like to avoid them.
  6. The optimist is just centered on physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, etc.), while the pessimist it’s very concerned.
  7. The optimistic plans the future and establish short-term goals, while the pessimist thinks that it will take too much time to improve.
  8. The optimist directly addresses those who question their work, presenting the facts that are contrary to these claims, while the pessimist is persuaded by them and feels incapable.
  9. The optimist interprets the failures in terms of commitment insufficient or wrong strategic choice and not of lack of capacity, while the pessimist attributes them to personal incompetence; believing that if  the next race will present a similar situation he/she will still not be able to deal with the problems positively.
  10. The optimist accepts situations that cannot be changed, while the pessimist looking to get away from these.

The reasons for the rebirth of Roma

The change of  Roma attitude during the matches and  its consequences: best play, individual fighting spirit, strong cohesion and sense of belonging is a positive not only for Roma, first in the championship, but for Italian football. The first step towards this change came from the different organization of the management, clearer, with no overlap in key leadership roles, which led to the choice of the players to be sold and which ones to enter, paying attention to the budgetary needs and to take not only good players but  also with the personality needed to play at a high level. The second step is represented by the choice of a coach not glamorous or philosopher but concrete. From the psychological point of view he is like the classic father’s harsh but fair; so players have felt respected and from this new environment and the interweaving of these relations was born the actual team condition. This result shows that in order to win a team  must have an effective corporate organization and a coach (the team leader) that enhances the players, not excluding them for a personal prejudice and enforcing rules simple and well defined. Only then starts the technical and tactical coaching.

The Guardiola’s rule: make a mistake to learn

A leader is also recognized by the sentences that he says to his players. Guardiola, new coach of  Bayern, said “We hope to make many mistakes so we learn immediately.” Do not be afraid of making mistakes is the attitude of the leader who has a winning mind, because what it is really important is not to pursue the perfect performance but how you react quickly to the mistakes.

Top athletes need the coach-leader

Crucial skill for the coaches of elite athletes is not only to have a technical background updated continuously, but especially the ability to manage the best athletes. They are coach – leader  acting as a leader to conduct them to achieve their best performances.  They are not coach – teacher as they should be with those less experienced.  These coaches talk and make themselves in the shoes of the other to establish emotional closeness. This is necessary because the top athletes have built through their careers a specific profile summarized as follows:

  1. have achieved some of the goals they had set, and therefore are considered successful people
  2. are characterized by the energy and commitment
  3. their skills emerge in a decisive manner in situations of increased competitive pressure
  4. are convinced to be able to deal with most of the situations or problems
  5. assume responsibility for the results of their performances
  6. are perceived by others as reliable and competent
  7. are often considered by most people as young as a model to emulate
  8. derive maximum satisfaction from the continuous renewal of the challenges facing
  9. are driven to find solutions
  10. seek the contribution of people who can help them in achieving their goals

Of course we must not fall into the trap of believing that a good level of effectiveness in these areas will be achieved with ease or that these individuals do not live moments of difficulty. On the contrary, these skills and standards are achieved and maintained through a continuous work, an effort to improve even when it seems far away, pursued even in those days that are frustrating.

When the coach is not a leader

The stories of  Schwazer and Italian swimming both still today in the newspapers show how difficult it is now the coach work even in individual sports. The role of  leader of the pack is not a prerogative of our fellow four-legged, it must also be good for us. When the coach does not play this role and the athletes get out of hand every thing can happen and it is what really happened.   We should learn from Cerioni, the Italian coach of the girls gold foil that he has managed to keep the band together on goal, regardless of the personal relationships between the athletes or listen to the Jamaican sprinters who though opponents have always been among their friendliness and respect. I repeat, a consultant psychologist could help significantly these coaches and many others for whom there is no mention in the newspapers but who commit the same mistakes.

Conte: martello-flessibile e direttivo-affettivo

La Juventus ha vinto e Conte è il suo leader.Conte è stato un insieme di molte abilità. Dirò qualcosa che può apparire scontato ma che è alla base degli allenatori vincenti: sapere adattare le proprie convinzioni alle caratteristiche dei giocatori, che a loro volta devono avere fede nelle sue idee. Per me Conte è stato un martello-flessibile. Significa sapere battere ogni giorno con determinazione sul sistema che si vuole insegnare ma nel contempo sapere modificare le idee in funzione di come vengono giocate le partite e dei risultati. Secondo, non si può essere solo impositivi, bisogna entrare nel cuore dei giocatori. Anche in questo caso direttività e affettività si devono integrare, se prevale una dimensione a discapito dell’altra succedono disastri, la squadra percepirà l’allenatore come troppo distante o come un dodicesimo compagno. Non a caso Conte ha detto che per lui sono necessari in ordine d’importanza mente, cuore e gambe.

Work on team and player personality

Luis Enrique si trova a affrontare una situazione molto difficile e mi chiedo se per insegnare la sua idea del calcio non abbia poco responsabilizzato sin dall’inizio il ruolo dei singoli pensando invece che ciò che conta è solo il collettivo. Quando si sta affogando si ritorna a parlare dei singoli ma forse è tardi, anche perchè nel caso della Roma si parte da una condizione di depressione e non certo di rabbia. La Roma è una squadra astenica che ad oggi non sa reagire alle difficoltà che le pongono gli avversari e un leader, che non c’è mai stato in questo periodo, non s’inventa in un weekend. La mia idea è che quale che sia il tipo di calcio che si vuole insegnare, bisogna sempre avere dei giocatori che, anche fuori dal campo, trascinano i compagni con i loro comportamenti, senza questi giocatori non ci sarà mai una squadra forte. Inoltre, imparare un modulo nuovo di gioco implica un periodo d’instabilità e di paure, senza leader che incitano a credere nel gioco qualsiasi squadra sbanda e non sa cosa fare.