“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” – Warren G. Bennis
Did anyone catch the Brigham Young University and New Mexico Women’s Soccer Match last week? If not, trust when I say mayhem certainly ensued. New Mexico player Elizabeth Lambert exhibited, well, unsportsmanlike conduct in the tournament game, including but not limited to punching, tripping, kicking and yes, even hair-pulling. The assaults “incidents,” garnered national media attention and left Lambert suspended indefinitely from the university team, despite the only penalty of the game being a yellow card. The viscious behavior left ESPN sports analysts baffled at the lack of reaction from fellow team members, coaching staffs and BYU players. Lambert has since apologized, stating she whole-heartedly regrets her actions and is ready to accept full responsibility.
While the national media focused mainly on Lambert, I think the more important lesson can be derived from the BYU players. Admist all the viscious physical attacks, not a single BYU player, to my knowledge retaliated. Perhaps this lack of reaction was involuntary, because of injury via assault, but nevertheless, no one punched Lambert. This self-control and focus despite negative external conditions is a tremendous part of leadership. The ablity to continue on in the face of extreme adversity is admirable and brave. The ability to contain one’s emotions in such an attack on personal boundaries is meritorious. These players should be commended on their sportsmanship, despite the absence of its extension towards them.
How would YOU react to such an event? Are you focused and dedicated enough to your cause to overcome negativity, adversity?
“Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court, the space between your ears.”
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails“
– John Maxwell
While perusing the internet for possible blog topics, I came across this wonderful post on teamworkandleadership.com. The blog and video are shared below:
The first week of November has descended upon us and with it brings chillier weather, an accelerated class pace as finals are encroaching and the illustrious Homecoming festivities. In the past, Homecoming has often been overshadowed by other rivalry games taking place prior and post-homecoming game. However, this year, the stakes are undoubtably higher.
The Opponent: Duke
The Significance: Biggest rivalry in College Sports history.
While the second point may be debatable to circles outside of the North Carolina bubble, to us Heels, and those “dookies,” the Tobacco Road hatred is phenomenal. Some may dispute the intensity of such a rivalry in sports outside of Basketball, but I digress. Our hatred, much like our propensity for excellence, knows no boundaries when it comes to our blue-dEVIL foes.
What does this have to do with leadership one might ask? It’s simple. As a student leader, your peers will look to you for behavioral cues. For example, if you’re throwing lemons on the field, someone else will almost surely adhere to your citrus shenanigans. As a student leader, it is your responsiblity to remember the Carolina Way and, more importantly, your dignity in the face of overwhelming hatred. Root for your team, but disregard demeaning chants, as their ultimate effect demeans you. Indulge in victory, but remember humilty, as the tides often vary in College sports.
Remember leadership and remember the importance of always living up to the expectations of this university and more importantly, yourself.