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What Makes an Effective Leader in Sports

What Makes an Effective Leader in Sports

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Published by xneax

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Published by: xneax on Apr 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What makes an effective leader in sports?Chapter Six contained article on ‘Leadership Effectiveness and DecisionMaking in Coaches’ by Murray, Mann and Mead. There is no specific meaningof leadership however the articles cited leadership by scholars as “thebehavioral process of influencing the activities of an organized group towardspecific goals and the achievement of those goals”. However, some will simplydefine it as “the process whereby an individual influences others to do what heor she wants them to do”. The article then summarized leadership as “the artand science of influencing others with credibility, capability and commitment”.Studies have been conducted to identify whether leadership is abehavior or something that you were born with. From there, many leadershiptheories emerged. The first theory is trait theory or the trait approach. Thetrait approach focuses on the dispositional or behavior that associated with agiven trait that can vary from situation to situation but individuals tends tokeep the same relative position. Research claimed that coaches are highlyauthoritarian. However, authoritarian attitude like avoid introspection, approvesevere punishment, prejudices and et cetera is ineffective in improving theathletes’ performance in sports. John Gardner in his book listed down qualitiesof an effective leader but that however, doesn’t mean that a leader needs toposses all traits listed to be regarded as an effective leader. An effectiveleader should have qualities such as (as proposed by Gardner); have strongphysical vitality and stamina, intelligent and action oriented, eager to accept
responsibility, task competence, understanding, have the skill in dealing withpeople, have the need of achievement, can motivate people, have courageand resolution, trustworthy, decisive, self-confidence, assertive and finallyadaptability or flexibility. Scholars however failed to find a specific trait thatattribute to leadership but it is integrated with situational factors and otherinfluences.Behavioral theories examine the behaviors of leaders and theirrelationship with the group members. There are two behaviors that areconsidered to be effective for leader and the group members; (1)consideration which involves mutual trust and respect for and attention to thefeelings and ideas of others and (2) initiating structures is where a leader isactive in directing group activities, communicating, scheduling andexperimenting with new ideas. Most effective leader will be a leader whoscores high on employee centered behavior and production centered behavior(high initiating structure). Another behavior that can lead to n effectiveleadership is person-oriented behaviors where a coach gives outencouragement, positive feedback, exhibited social support and et cetera.Situational theorists examine the factors like characteristics of followers,the organizational situation and the demands of the situation. According toFiedler, “personalities and situations should be matched and congruent formaximum leadership effectiveness”. In other words, the leader would alter hispersonality to suit the situation (situation-specific theories) or the leader

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