The phenomenon of leadership has existed in the world for ages. Since the first years of the society establishment, there have been people who were at the head of communities and had power and influence on the community members. These people made all the important decisions and led others to the common goals. Even though not every leader was successful, the tendency of choosing a person responsible for the social life in a certain group was obvious. The history of the humanity shows that people need to be guided. No community can exist without being led by a person or a group of people. Leaders can be different, but the place of a leader is never vacant. It is common practice for a group of people, united by a common goal, to have a leader. No one can imagine a company without a director, a party without a political leader, or an athletic team without a captain. In this paper, the role and influence of the leader in a football team will be discussed. A football team is a striking example of a group of people, pursuing the common aim and strongly depending on its leader. The leader of a football team should unite all the players and encourage them to do their best in order to achieve the common goal of the whole team – the victory as you can read in many essays https://best-essays-sites.com/review/superbessay-com-review.html
There exist a number of leadership theories which try to determine the key features of a leader and the conditions of successful leadership. Most of them can be applied to the leadership in a football team. However, situational approach proves to be the most suitable because football as any sport is a very quick and dynamic activity and the leader’s flexibility is the key to success. In this approach, leaders observe, change, and adapt to the situation at hand, and leadership effectiveness is determined by the extent to which leaders can match their styles to the followers to meet organizational goals. The goals of a football team can be long-term such as becoming the winner of a championship or short-term such as winning a match. If it is a long-term goal, the leader should have the strategy and lead the team towards achieving the goal, taking into account possibly changing conditions. Though this type of leadership is divided into task-oriented and people-oriented styles, it is important for a football team leader to combine, or rather, to switch from one style to another. While aspiring to the goals and finding possible ways to achieve them, it is important to take notice of the people in the team, their personality, and psychological state.
A football team is a small group of people. Therefore, every member of the group is of great importance. The leader should carefully choose the approach to people, depending on the situation. It is sometimes necessary to encourage the person, to carry conviction and to make the player do his best during the game. There are situations when the leader should be understanding and loyal to some problems that can be in the players’ personal life, which might hamper their good performance.
However, the general fundamental of effective leadership is the evaluation of the players’ competence and commitment and the incorporation of necessary activities to balance these qualities. For example, if the leader sees that some of the players perform very well, have a lot of stamina, but are not initiative and active during the trainings, the task of the leader is to encourage them and to help the team make benefit of their good performance. It is necessary to find out the reasons for the lack of commitment and try to eliminate them. Meanwhile, there are players who are very enthusiastic and active, but lack competence. The leader’s solution might be to improve their performance and to organize the teamwork in such a way that they could acquire new skills.
There is no doubt that in order to achieve the aim, the leader should have power and influence in the group. Moreover, the power is given to the leader by his position itself. The members of the football team understand that their captain is responsible for the strategy of the game and taken decisions. This fact already gives the leader the influence on the players. However, it is very important to use this power in a proper way and to influence the members efficiently. There are two types of power, namely “hard power” and “soft power”. Hard power’ uses coercion or inducement, whereas ‘soft power’ relies on personal or relational power to get others to do what you want them to do. In our team, the players are more receptive to the “soft power”. Many of them do not accept strict orders and coercion. Presently, our leader often resorts to hard power. He gives the instructions, not asking for the feedback from the team. Thus, the leader becomes more of a dictator. I would change this strategy for the one, which consolidates the team and leads it to the victory in order to establish confidential atmosphere of mutual assistance. The influence on the players should be subtle. On the one hand, there are situations, when it is necessary to make decisions and give precise directions. On the other hand, the strategy of “hard power” should not dominate because the football team is the team where people should be enthusiastic about the work and eager to train a lot and to come up with creative approaches to the game. Therefore, in my opinion, “soft power” would be more efficient in our team.
While implementing the strategy of the team, the best influential tactic to be used is rational persuasion. The leader should explain the goals of the team and the clear steps towards their achievement. Thus, the team will easily understand the plan and respect the leader more, which will add to his power and consequently to his influence on them.
In this context, it is necessary to pay attention to the key concepts of transformational and transactional leadership in a football team. Transformational approach seems to be more effective in this case. The main principle of the transformational approach is to encourage the player to achieve the goal and to make him believe that he can do it. Leaders with transformational approach do not behave as dictators. They lead the followers by their own example. They treat people as their companions and help to achieve the shared goal as well as their personal goals. Thus, they transform the followers and help them become more self-confident and feel more comfortable within the group. For example, when a player cannot play well because his family are against such a hobby, thinking that it is a waste of time, the player might feel the psychological pressure and guilt all the time. The leader might have a talk with him to persuade him to be committed to his hobby, to leave aside all his problems and plunge into the game. Thus, the player starts thinking more about the game, plays better, and the whole team gains from it.
If the leader used the transactional approach, in other words, just gave direct orders, he would not be successful. Transactional leadership can be applied in big companies where there are a lot of people, and the goal of managers is to give the task and to check its fulfillment. On the one hand, in an athletic team, any kind of such direction may lead to ruining the atmosphere among the players. On the other hand, there are such situations, when the leader gives the instructions and the players should obey. However, it is impossible to base successful leadership in a football team solely on transactional approach. It is necessary to bring-up successful, self-confident, and critically thinking players.
The transactional leadership presupposes that the leader is a charismatic person with a set of traits that make him a successful leader, as only a person with outstanding character can change people and be followed by other members. The traits and characteristics of an effective football team leader should include total commitment to the group, good performance, cooperativeness, high energy, achievement orientation, and self-confidence. The football team leader should be an example for other players, a person whom they would listen to in a critical situation.
The commitment to the group is displayed in the genuine interest in all members of the group and their participation as well as in the common goal of the group. By his own example, the leader shows that the interests of the group as a whole are of high importance to him and he does his best to contribute to the common performance. As a result, he displays good performance, which makes him an authority in the group, as he shows himself as an expert and a skillful player. A person with the lack of skills will never guide the group as everybody will think themselves better than him.
Increased activity of the leader means the capacity to train long hours and to encourage others to do the same. Energetic leaders give the incentive to work to all the players and show that there is no place for laziness. Cooperativeness means that the leader is open to new proposals and initiatives from the players; he has no primary and secondary people in the team. He appreciates all the people for who they are and understands their important role in the team. Achievement oriented leader works out a strategy to win and, while trying to find approach to people, never forgets that he leads his team to better results. Moreover, he does not let other players forget about it. Finally, the football team leader should be self-confident as making quick decisions, encouraging people, and working out strategies is impossible without the assurance of success. In addition to all these traits, one of the most important key concepts of the leadership is self-awareness, which means that a person should fully understand and control own feelings and emotions. When leaders are not self-aware, it is doubtful they can be aware of others. Being self-aware means being able to see and understand your emotions and feelings and how they affect you in your work and your private life. As a result, you can accurately evaluate your weaknesses and strengths.
All these traits of character help the leader organize the work of the team and his leadership activity as well. The leader should always have a clear vision of the goal, understanding of the purpose of the team and, of course, the strategy of the goal achievement. Football is a game where strategy is of key importance. If there is no strategy, it is impossible to win. Therefore, the main aim of the leader is to build a good successful strategy and to implement it with the help of the team members. For this purpose, the leader should have a vision of the goal, in other words, understand the aim of the team and transfer this vision to all members of the team. The vision helps the members have a clear objective, which organizes them throughout the work. In order to support the vision, it is necessary to state the mission of the team. It might be the representation of the college, town, or even country. At every stage, the mission of the team is of great importance. It supports the group, gives better understanding of the purpose of their work and encourages the players. It makes them more responsible for what they are doing as their activity becomes purposeful not only for them personally but also for other people.
Undoubtedly, the concepts of vision and mission help the leader work out a good and clear strategy of the future work. A football team without a strategy is like a working group without a plan. It becomes chaotic and has no concerted actions, which prevents the team from achieving the goal. The leadership, in its turn, also supports the vision, mission, and strategy of the team because the leader is the person who builds up the strategy, defines the vision of the goal, and the mission of the team and transfers these concepts to all members of the team. The leader’s responsibility is to maintain the team, to lead it in the needed direction and to provide the implementation of the strategy. Having a strategy is not enough; leaders must then use their power and influence to motivate, persuade, and win over the collaboration of followers to attain the organization’s goals—but must be careful not to exceed their ethical and legal responsibilities when using power and influence.
If I were the leader of the team, I would change the psychological atmosphere among the players. Presently, there are separate coalitions in the group, which often speak a different language. Therefore, while training or playing a game, players in the team rather listen to their friends in the coalition than to the whole team. It separates the team and prevents us from winning the matches. If I were the leader, I would do my best to establish understanding in the team and to show the players that each of them is indispensable part of one mechanism. Unlike big companies, where it is difficult to trace the interdependence of the team members, it is easy to show the importance of each other in a football team. Discussing the team strategy during the game, the players can clearly see the tasks and functions of each of them.
Secondly, if I were the leader, I would be more open to the ideas of other team members. In football, it is very important to have a strategy of the game and to adapt it to the changing course of the game. In my opinion, the leader should reserve the right to choose the best strategy. However, in order to achieve the highest result, the leader should know the principles of relationship management. He should encourage all the players to provide their ideas; he should discuss the game, analyze the mistakes and show the players that their opinion is important and influential for the whole team. Successful leaders are good communicators able to create and sustain relationships, thus building broad networks of people and setting the stage for unprecedented collaboration.
All things considered, the leadership is an art, which demands a high level of self-organization and the knowledge of the key principles of the relationship management. Working with people, the leader should take into account the fact that he depends on the people he works with. No goals can be achieved if the leader does not work with a group of people as with a living organism and does not adapt to the quickly changing situations. A football team leader is a person, who should be a role model for other players. Therefore, he should display outstanding personal qualities and high level of commitment to the group. Thus, the team players would be able to implement the game strategy of the team leader to achieve both the shared and personal goals.