Some people view leadership as a position of power that’s used to control others. As a result, it’s understandable why some people view leadership and power in a negative light.
Years ago I heard leadership described in a totally different way and it really made sense. Leadership, in its purest form, is the art of developing other leaders. Leadership is the ability to give away power that helps others reach their potential, and in turn, develops new leaders.
I’ve heard Bear Bryant, the legendary coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, describe leadership. He had great power and great teams as the head coach, but that’s not what defined his power.
Instead, Bryant’s power was defined by the 40 former players and assistants who became head coaches at both the college and professional level.
“Set goals — high goals for you and your organization. When your organization has a goal to shoot for, you create teamwork, people working for a common good,” said Bryant.
There was another famous coach from Notre Dame, and his name was Knute Rockne. Bear Bryant was on his staff, as well as another football legend by the name of Vince Lombardi.
You see, great power comes with great responsibility. And that responsibility is to create such a standard of excellence that others are inspired to reach new levels — and in the process, become a leader. And as a leader, they inspire others.
In the words of Vince Lombardi, “Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”
As leaders, our goal is to be the example, the model for excellence and integrity. If we do this long enough and with enough intensity, our name can be among great leaders — even those outside our industry. We can be remembered for the army of influencers and leaders we have helped create.
As you continue into 2019 keep these lessons from the world’s greatest leaders in mind, and remember that as a health club operator, you have influence to empower others. What will you do with that influence?
Joe Cirulli is the owner and CEO of Gainesville Health and Fitness.