Taken from course material of the UTAS Associate Degree in Applied Business (Supervising Diverse Teams ZAA102)
Some display great leadership, US President Abraham Lincoln, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Buddhist cleric the Dalai Lama come instantly to mind.
These are example of great leaders. Others include dictators like German Adolf Hitler, North Korean Eternal leader Kim Il-Sun and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
Now before you jump down my neck about calling Hitler a great leader, have a look at his ability to take a notion and put it into play. Yes, his notions and thoughts were that of a complete lunatic but he was able to lead a country to war based on his thoughts.
What I would like to do, as I like to do, is head into the sporting world and give you two examples of leadership that were discussed as a recent uni workshop.
The first is the embodied leader. This is the type of leader I would aspire to be
The embodied leader sets a bench mark for all to aspire to. He leads by example and is in it for the greater good.
The best example I can think of is Joel Selwood, captain of the Geelong Football Club.
Selwood epitomises the ethos of the Geelong Football Club but what I like most about this embodied leader is how he demonstrates what he expects of his troops.
Selwood holds the all-time AFL record for most free kicks for high contact. To use a line from Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins, “he sticks his head into problems” more than any player in the AFL.
Recently there has been talk that he is the most courageous in the AFL since former North Melbourne hard nut Glenn Archer, if not the most courageous ever.
Being a dyed in the wool Geelong fan, I believe he is the most courageous I’ve seen and could be the first player to win a Victoria Cross for playing football, obviously after Teddy Sheean is awarded one for his valour during WWII.
The other type of leader is a little harder to personify but when I do I think you will get what I mean.
The Spiritual Leader is the one who might not be the captain, the coach, the soldier with the most kills or even the best at his craft but leads his troops the only way he knows how.
Think of the Western Bulldogs in the AFL last year. Easton Wood captained the side in the absence of regular captain Robert Murphy (or Bob as I will refer to him from now on) who missed the lion’s share of the season with a knee injury.
Come grand final day, Wood led the Bulldogs onto the field to take on the Sydney Swans as captain, no doubt a proud moment for him, but the spiritual leader of the Bulldogs was not kitted out in his playing gear.
Bob could be seen boundary side and in the coach’s box talking strategy and being an integral part of the day despite not being able to participate himself.
The true measure of Bob as a spiritual leader came when Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge presented him with a premiership medallion and allowed him to raise the cup with Wood (see picture).
Is there something about the makeup of the Western Bulldogs that lends itself to spiritual leaders? Looking back over their history the likes of EJ Whitten, Doug Hawkins and Tony Liberatore were all spiritual leaders, some would argue that Whitten is the spiritual leader of Victorian Football if not AFL football some 22 years after his death from prostate cancer in 1995.
Of course, there is always an exception to every rule. As much as Bob was the great spiritual leader, the Kim family in North Korea are a great example of what is wrong with following a doctrine after a leader has passed away.
Kim Il-sung was the supreme communist leader of North Korea from 1972-1994 and is still regarded as the “Eternal Leader” of the country and his teachings were closely followed by his son Kim Jong-il (the Dear Leader) and grandson, the current president of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.
The dictatorial country is led by communists who are as delusional as they are powerful.
And then there is Trump….
If you enjoyed this blog or have any comments you would like to make, hit me up. I’d love to read them and get your feedback.