Leadership, Motivation | Jun 23, 2016

What is the Biggest Mistake an Aspiring Leader Can Make?

1 Question 5 Answers

Five sporting leaders; one question: what is the biggest mistake an aspiring leader can make?

Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from those mistakes, and building effective solutions to prevent them from happening again are sure-fire ways to impact future performance. The Leaders Performance Institute asked five experienced leaders what they feel are the biggest mistakes aspiring leaders can make.

Alan Ashley – Chief of Sport Performance, United States Olympic Committee

“To not listen. If you make the mistake of thinking you know everything and you know all the answers. The most important thing you can do is listen to your people and create a culture and an environment where they feel free to give you information.”

Dan Quinn – Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons

“Oftentimes when you are in a position to become a Head Coach sometimes you can look too far ahead and not be totally engaged in the season. My advice would be get all the information done during your off season and in that way when the regular season comes all your attention and focus can be truly devoted to your team. Plan way ahead and live in the moment for your team right now.”

Thomas Dimitroff – General Manager, Atlanta Falcons

“Not being authentic. They need to go into an organisation with the philosophies, beliefs and the characteristics that got them there in the first place and not be swayed by past people in their lives suggesting to do it a certain way. It is about being real; it’s about being authentic.”

Alastair Clarkson – Head Coach, Hawthorn Football Club

“Probably being too ambitious and trying to do it all quickly and thinking that the quicker you can get into the head coaching job the better, and probably once you become Head Coach thinking you are the man and that you have to do everything. I was like that and I learnt my lessons the hard way. The sooner you learn to delegate and share responsibility the more time you have to focus and prioritise on the things that are most important.”

Dean Lombardi – President & General Manager, Los Angeles Kings

“Probably trying to move too quickly. The one thing that is very clear is that you have no idea what it is like until you are sitting in the seat. You should be prepared in all aspects of the job.”



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