Playing high school, club and even college soccer has taught me a lot. One of the most important lessons I have learned is how to be a leader. Leadership is a quality that stands above the rest, especially when it comes to being on a team. Here are a few things I've learned about leadership that I believe will help you become the leader you know you can be.
One of the most important things I've learned about leadership, and life in general, is that attitude is everything. I've always been told that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. Don't believe me? How about I share an example with you.
I mentioned this story in an earlier post about how during my freshman year of high school I didn't get the starting position I thought I deserved. Now I had a very important choice to make. I could either sulk and feel sorry for myself, or I could view this as an opportunity to find my flaws, work hard to close the gap between me and the player I wanted to start over, and change a setback into a change to grow.
Not only does your attitude affect you; it also has an affect on everyone around you. We all know that "glass half empty" person, and sometimes it's even us. The person that always seems to bring everyone else down or always finds something wrong with every situation. As a leader, it is important to be someone who finds the good in every situation. Be the one who encourages and gives everyone a reason to be positive instead of the one who brings everyone down. A leader should be someone who encourages and works to get the best out of everyone not the person who always see a problems as a "glass half empty"
Just remember this. If you have a negative outlook on something, something negative will most likely happen. However, if you have a positive attitude, positive things are almost guaranteed to come your way.
One of the most life changing images I've seen in my life was actually a cartoon drawing depicting two scenes. The first scene was a man sitting on top of a massive block of stone directing people to pull the stone up a hill. The other was the same man directing people to pull the same stone up a hill, but in this scene, the man was also pulling the stone. Under the first scene was the word "Boss", and under the second was the word "Leader".
This image spoke to me because I had grown up believing that a leader was someone who could get others to do things for him, but in all reality, a leader is someone who is in the trenches encouraging others to help him finish a task. With all that being said, I want to make one simple point; Lead by example. Be the first one to volunteer for a task no one wants to do, or go the extra mile for a teammate who needs help. Do the right thing, be passionate about you do, and others will follow. That is what it means to be a true leader.
As a leader it is essential to know yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you tick and what motivates you. This is very important not only when you are in a position of leadership, but also in everyday life as an individual. Knowing yourself is one of the most important things you can do to become the person and leader you are meant to be.
I am not going to lie to you guys, this process can be hard. It's not easy to take a step back and evaluate yourself especially when it comes to our flaws. Trust me, it will be extremely beneficial in the long run. The key is to be honest with yourself. It doesn't do any good to ignore your flaws and just focus on the good because NOBODY is perfect. When you figure out what you are bad at, it gives you the opportunity to improve.
Once you know yourself, it becomes a lot easier to improve yourself and lead others. Everyday should be better than the last, and self evaluation is an important part in improving the day and your life.
Leadership is an incredibly important skill to have. It is something that you will use every day. Whether you're on a captain on your team or a freshman just trying to find your position, be a leader and work every day to become the best you can be.