Leadership lessons for community sport (1)

Over the seven years I have been working with clubs and other community sports providers I have to come to realise that leadership is the key factor in their successful development and growth, and dare I say it: survival.

At our Grow Your Club workshops I often hear people comment that all my thoughts, ideas and examples are great, but then it comes: “How do we actually get the leadership right to drive the club forward through people?”

In response we have now developed a new workshop called Leadership and Management of Your Sports Club – Getting things done through people and in September we will be launching its sister 48 page Guide. Packed with inspiring case-stories and easy-to-use templates and tools readers will have access to best practice from across community sport on how to develop the right leadership and management for their club.  Below are some brief tips and hints taken from the workshop and guide – I hope they are of use to you; remember they are based on experiences from the real world! Let me know what you think.

Change your structure and culture from committee to team: A committee decides, is boring, exists to set policy, will drain the life out of you and is for those who desire status. Whereas a team does, is exciting, exists to win, will add to your life and is for those who want to make a difference.  The word team connotes vision, goals, purpose, unity and accomplishment. On the other hand, the word committee just sucks the life right out of you.

Fuel the pioneering spirit – keep the momentum going by building regular events and WOW moments into the life of your club. Many times a club loses that pioneering spirit as it ages, becomes complacent and gets stuck in the rut that deters new ideas and pushes away new people. Build momentum, involve more people, dare to think new and see your club grow.

Good leaders let people go. If you want to drive your club, on and off the pitch, you will no doubt experience people who simply cannot see any reason for any changes. They have been here for 29 years, so they know best. Those people can be serious barrier to your club’s health and that must come first. It seems to suggest to ask a long-standing member to leave, but if they are holding your club back and deterring good, new people from getting involved…what are your options

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