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Leadership for Boost Instructors

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.  Alexander the Great

 

You are here to become a leader of the Boost program.  Leadership is a great responsibility.  Think of people you know, that you admire, in a leadership role.  What about those in a leadership role that you don’t admire?  What separates the two?

Leadership, according to Barrow (1977), is the behavioral process of influencing individuals and groups toward a set of goals through credibility, capability and commitment.  As a Boost leader you will be influencing people to be the best “them” that they can be as an employee, in sport, as a student, at home, and in life.  The skills that you will help them to learn will continue in their everyday life, and as long as they continue to practice these skills, they will have them forever.

Credibility is the ability to be believed and trusted.  If a person/employee/athlete/group/team does not consider you as credible, it will be difficult for them to be successful in learning skills that will help them boost their lives in a positive manner.  Therefore, you have to study, know, and implement these skills into your life so that you are modeling the skills you are teaching.  You must be capable of demonstrating these qualities and the knowledge to help them through the process as you will become the expert.  You must be committed to understanding and learning the Boost process and in realizing the instrument that you become in the teaching process.  Develop confidence in your ability to help others learn the program.  Have a good feel for what is going on.  Know the program.  Be in the present when working with others.  As a Boost instructor you will have the ability to influence a change in someone’s attitudes and behaviors.

How are your leadership skills?  Marian Anderson coined the phrase “Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.”  Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

No common specific personality traits have been found that make a leader successful, however, there are certain traits that successful leaders have in common.  Successful leaders takes into account each person and situation.  They develop a rapport with each person and fit the specific situation.  Leadership styles may change from group to group/individual to individual.

Successful leaders are effective communicators who use strong instruction and a positive and encouraging focus.  They use consideration and initiate structure.  As the Boost Boot Camp is an online learning system, it is important that ample time is given for completion of each assignment.  It is also important to remember that it is a 21-day learning activity.  Successful leaders demonstrate a focus on goal achievement.  Structure a time-line with deadlines for assignments to be completed and explain the expectations of completing each assignment, keeping the overall focus on completing the Boot Camp in 21-days.  The type of leader you are may be reflected in your style.  Evaluate your leadership style by completing the task.  Regardless of your “style”, become that effective leader who leads, motivates, communicates, guides, instructs, and encourages in order to help people to reach their full potential.  Remember to motivate, listen, and lead by example.

One of the most difficult things to do is change morale.  Most people don’t understand or think about why they behave the way they do; they just know they do.  To start to influence a change is to develop a high, positive morale toward enhancing emotional intelligence, mental skills, and mindfulness training in order to create a positive, more cognitively fit individual.  With the program, it is important to develop a sense of confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline within each individual/group leading to the awareness that each individual is important and helping them to understand that they must develop a mindset that hard work and sacrifice is appreciated within their own framework.  Morale filters into motivation and everyone is motivated; motivated to do or not to do.  Boost teaches motivation to do!  As a leader, look and listen.  Is what you are saying and doing working to keep everyone motivated to complete assignments?  Are they responsive to what you are doing?  If not, self-reflect on what you might need to do differently.

“Indecision kills.”  Are there things that you can change to help everyone move toward the goal of completion?  Don’t continue doing the same thing each time if it isn’t working.  Select an alternative from among different choices to help you arrive at your desired end.  Make a decision to what needs to be better or what isn’t working.  Develop a clear understanding of anything that isn’t working.  Ask yourself “what is happening?” Look over any issues that have arisen.  Develop a clear understanding of the problem at hand before starting to develop strategies for a solution.  Each individual is unique and each group may be different.  Discuss obstacles that are getting in the way of success in areas of assignments, discussions, and completing the program in the allotted time-frame.

Although you may be discussing lessons as a group, everyone is working as an individual. There are several things you must realize when working with a group of people.  First, yes, it is easier to understand an individual and his/her behaviors, however, working as a group changes things.   If the group is acting as a team then it is important that people understand that you are developing a safe place to discuss their thoughts and feelings.  For people to feel as if they can share, they must feel an attraction to the group and that they are important.  The key is the interaction among group members, especially relating to shared common goals.

A group is a collection of interacting individuals who share in a collective identity.  They have a sense of shared purpose and objectives.  Sometimes they share a structured mode of communication.  There is some type of personal or task interdependence and interpersonal attraction toward the group.  It is important to remember that all teams are groups, however, not all groups are teams.  Team members have to depend on and support each other to accomplish their shared objectives. They have interdependency and common goals, where groups have interdependency in their accomplishments, however, they may or may not work together towards the goal.

Many times, when working with a group, you will find the individuals experiencing one of the following ‘stages’ that occur, each ‘stage’ having a focus of its own.  Forming is a time when individuals come together to form the group.  Some individuals may have previously been in the group while others are new to the group.  During the forming stage people are familiarizing themselves while developing interpersonal relationships and developing a team type structure.  You will be working with forming the group during your first meeting or two.

Storming follows forming and may last during a few meetings.  Many times you will see resistance to control, rebellion, and conflict during the storming stage, especially during your discussion times.  Individuals may be vying for various roles within the group.  During the norming stage conflict subsides and cooperation amongst members develops.  Discussions become an important part of the gathering.  There is a feeling of solidarity, and sharing is important by all which leads to performing, a time of channeled energies arising to work together toward success and accomplishing individual change.  Toward the end of the 21-days you will want to address termination of the group process.  It is important that group members still feel that they have each other for support, as change will continue over the course of time.  After all, change may develop in 21-days but to become habit in one’s life, it takes time, understanding, and support.

Structuring your group discussions will be in accordance to your style of leadership, as well as your belief system.  Things to think about are the individual’s roles within the group.  Roles are behaviors required or expected of a person occupying a certain position.  Formal roles are appointed with specific, associated expectations whereas informal roles evolve from interactions between members.  Will you appoint a leader in your small group discussions?  What expectations do you have of the members of your groups?  Be sure to explain your expectations of behavior.

If you are meeting as a group then it is important that everyone is on the same page.  They must understand that the common goal is self-evaluation in 10 areas over a 21-day period.  They must understand the potential payoff when they arrive, and that it is important for them to be committed to accomplishing the common goal; therefore they must have a commitment in completing each assignment in a timely manner.   Work at developing a commitment from everyone in the group.  Stress honesty from everyone and stay on issues and lessons at hand.  Focus on the here and now and away from personalities and pointing fingers.

Watch for various levels of commitment amongst members, as some may be resistant to buying into change. Those who show resistance may clash with those who are compelled to change, who are totally investing because they realize it is of the utmost important in their journey to success.  Between these two are those that are reluctant, who hesitate at the thought of change due to disinterest or fear; those that see absolutely no significant value in change, those who are compliant as they see some type of importance and only do what is asked without much thought, and those who are committed as they see the importance and do whatever is necessary to make changes in most areas of interest.  Be wary of those that are apathetic as they just don’t care and may have lost their love of the job, company, or game and those that are obsessed, who focus only on their process and control discussions based on their point of view.

Problems within a group, during discussions, may arise.  Avoid allowing the pointing of fingers.  Meet the issue head-on, getting to the true issue.  Help members develop a variety of solutions to the issue.  Be prepared for the lesson and for what may be brought to the forefront from your group discussions.  Don’t advise or find solutions for anyone or any group, but help lead them to discover a variety of solutions that may help.

As a Boost instructor, your role is to develop a safe, non-judgmental place to help individuals and group members to be honest with themselves and others, as well as, open about their thoughts and feelings; a place to share experiences that hindered or enhanced their ability to be successful.  Develop a place where members find that they are not alone in their thinking and that others may have had the same or similar thoughts and experiences.  You create an atmosphere of growth and development for an individual to define positive pathways in their journey toward personal success, enhancing their emotional intelligence, mental skills abilities, mindfulness, and cognitive flexibility.

 

 

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