Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Leadership is a results oriented practice - Thoughts from an Instructor of Martial Arts Classes in Suwanee GA
If you look for guides on what makes a good leader, you will probably find thousands or maybe even millions of different traits, techniques and methods to make a good leader. Some of these are good, some are great, and some probably guarantee your failure. I believe it is good for people to study leadership, it is an art that has to be learned and practiced, but I think the most important thing for leaders to remember is that the number one trait, the only thing that truly matters in a leader is their ability to produce results. No matter how flawlessly a leader uses the techniques taught by the leadership gurus, if they don’t create results then they are not an effective leader. Now don’t take this to mean that to be a good leader you have to always succeed the first time, or that you have to get the result you set out for the first time. What I mean by getting results as a leader is that you have to successfully create a positive change for the people you are leading, and you have to be able to do this consistently.
A leader is someone who takes people from one place they are, to a place they should be. This is sometimes a physical place, other times it is a mental or emotional place, and many times it is an achievement such as an assignment at work or winning a sports game. No matter where the leader is leading people, a great leader always makes sure that the people being led are being developed along the way to make sure that not only do they get from one place to the next, they are improving along the way. This is how you can get results even when you do not reach your goals. This is a very profound idea and goal to me because when I think this way, I know that no matter what happens the people I am leading are moving forward; whether successful or not in our initial goal the people I am leading are improving and becoming better.
An example of a good leader from my past that got results even in failure is a football coach I had when I was younger. I was about 11 years old and played on a team that was let’s say not full of future NFL stars. We played many games and we only had one victory all season long, and that was because the other team didn’t show up…. We kind of sucked to be honest :) Throughout this far from stellar year, the coaches kept us practicing hard. They keep us giving our best effort in practice, we showed up and gave our all at every game. Even though we quickly discovered that we would not make the playoffs, the coach taught us about the importance of trying our best in spite of the grim future. I remember our last game, it was against a team called the Mustangs; they were the top ranked team. I have a vivid memory of the coach sitting the team down before the game and talking to us. One of my teammates said something to the affect of us having no chance. The coach turned to him and said that if he felt that way he should just go home, because the rest of us were going to go out there and play our hearts out win or lose. I think it was the best game we played all season. We lost, badly, but we played as hard as we could, we pushed ourselves farther than we thought we possible could, and when the game was over we were proud, even though we lost. That coach got results in spite of the team not winning; he took a group of young boys and taught them the importance of never giving up, and taught us to see things through even if the outlook is bleak. I think that lessons like these are invaluable to our success.
As a leader at Choe's HapKiDo Martial Arts in Suwanee GA, I hope to be able to instill in all the students traits and skills that will better their lives. My goal is for all of my students to stay with martial arts their entire life, get their black belt and continue to train and improve forever. But I know that there is no way every one of my students will train HapKiDo Karate from now until the day they die. A handful of students will be with me forever, but especially since the majority of my students take kids karate classes in Suwanee I know that they will grow up and may or may not even live here is Suwanee, GA when they are adults. So basically the goal of having every single one of my students stay and train at the Suwanee Martial Arts School is an impossible one, but in the effort to be the best Martial Arts Leader I can, I will get results from each and every student. If they come for one class, or for 30 years, I hope to give them some sort of result from them training with me that will improve their lives and make them a better member of the human race.
Here is my challenge to you. If all the leaders in society (and EVERYONE is a leader in society so I am talking to you) strives to get results in every second of every day, the world will be a dramatically different place. It will be full of growth and improvement in all areas of our society and our lives. We will be able to reach beyond what we thought was possible as a community and soar to heights unimaginable! Call me a dreamer, but I believe that if we all commit to becoming a leader in our daily actions, we can change the world. WHO IS WITH ME?!?!