Continuing our 14-week series “A Leader in Every Locker,” this week’s trait is “Bearing.”
Bearing is creating a favorable impression in appearance, behavior, and personal conduct at all times. Leaders need to project a calm confidence and belief in the team even in the face of daunting odds. They need to look, talk, and act like a leader even when one may be contending with self doubt, concern, or uncertainty.
Recognizing the responsibility of representing the team, players act with good manners, sportsmanship, and are good stewards of the team’s reputation both on and off the field. Team captains walk out for the coin toss with heads held high and shoulders back. They address the officials as “Sir”, give opposing captains a firm handshake, and look them in the eye when wishing them good luck. These small but significant gestures provide the opposition and officials with a good first impression of who we are as a team. It is then every player’s responsibility to uphold that impression throughout the game despite the circumstances.
We all encounter frustrations and setbacks in a variety of ways. However, as author and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl reminds us, “There is a moment between stimulus and response where we have a choice of how to react, and in that moment, and in that choice, we find character.” Maintaining bearing in the face of some unforeseen adversity is a choice. It may not be easy, but it is a choice nonetheless.
Further, projecting calm, confidence, and optimism in stature, words, and interpersonal engagements is far more likely to yield positive outcomes than to do the opposite. Think about your own reactions to the bearing of others. I have a good friend who is fond of saying, “Calm is contagious,” and his leadership example and bearing have precipitated decades of success. What is your bearing like today? How will you step forward to meet all that lies ahead?
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!