1971 Titans

Communication is the Oxygen of Leadership (Part 1 of 3)

Leadership is our ability to positively influence others. As such, it is fundamentally a relational skill. It has been said, “Communication is the oxygen of relationships.” Without good communication, relationships die. Consequently, without good communication, leadership doesn’t stand a chance.

In the early 70s, many communities in the United States were in the process of dismantling segregation. Alexandria, Virginia was one such community. It took tangible steps toward equality when it combined the populations of three area high schools into one. Two had been white and one was black. Herman Boone, a black man, was chosen to be the football coach at the new high school ……. over Bill Yoast, a very popular white coach. This added to the tension, especially since Yoast and another white man became Boone’s assistant coaches. Boone did everything in his power to bring the players and his coaching staff together. And it worked. That season, the team won the state championship and became the second highest ranking high school football team in the country!

When asked what the secret was to this high-performing team’s success, Boone stated, “Communication. Talking to each other. Getting to know and appreciate each other. We forced the kids to spend time with each other to find out things about each other. Every player was required to spend time with teammates who were a different race.” Result: the team went undefeated. And that is why, to this day, the people of Alexandria still remember, and talk about, the 1971 Titans.

You cannot have a high performance team unless you have communicative players on the team. Without communication you don’t have a team, you just have a collection of individuals. You will be a much more effective communicator, and leader of your team, if you follow these 12 principles:…

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Top 10 Qualities For A Great Leader

What Personal Qualities Do Great Leaders Have? (Part 1)

This is a complex question. I have been a student of leadership for many years and there is a plethora of theories and models concerning what good leadership looks like. As I have blogged before, Leadership is Influence. There are many bases for leadership: positional, relational, knowledge/information, performance, etc. But real, lasting leadership tends to be based upon influential relationships.

In my last blog post, I listed 5 Common Misunderstandings About Leadership. If those misunderstandings are examples of what leadership is not, then what personal qualities do make a great leader? Here are the first 6 of my “Top 10” personal qualities for a great leader:…

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