This chapter analyses the meaning of leadership and considers various styles: the concepts of transactional ('managing the status quo') leadership and transformational ('moving individuals and organizations by carrying them beyond basic performance levels') leadership. It goes on to consider the leadership qualities needed in the sports situation. The specific leadership qualities needed for working in sports administration are noted, and the skills which need to be demonstrated are identified.
Reason and judgement are the qualities of a leader.
One of the key features of sports operations on the field of play, and also the key to successful management of sports practice off the field, is leadership. Leadership must be provided in any industry to give direction and pull everyone together towards a common goal. If planning is to be effective, someone has to take everyone along with them towards the agreed target. Someone has to do the pulling together and forward, as well as the motivation of others to keep them going towards the same goal.
This is not the place to get into a long debate over the theories of leadership. In practical management terms it is academic whether managers are born, are made or just appear as the need arises. The key point for the organization is that leadership is shown and that it is encouraged rather than squashed at any point. Again, training will be key to produce a quality of leadership and to draw it out at all the points of the organization. It is important that leadership is encouraged and is trained, where it already exists, to be better.
The style of leadership can vary from laid-back to authoritarian, depending on the organization and the situation. However, is an overly dictatorial presence is usually inappropriate in the voluntary situation, where we are trying to build a team. The leadership style has to match the requirement of any particular organizational situation, and the best approach is the one appropriate at that point in time.