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April 10, 2019
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April 15, 2019

Great Leaders

Great leaders: They do not proclaim to be the BEST. 

 A quality leader or coach is often very well spoken and can use positive phrases effectively. They can speak their mission and vision with a tone of empowerment and inspiration.  Conversely; there are certain phrases and words that certainly damage coach’s messages and create a negative effect on their followers.  Former Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher once said, “ Power is like a lady. If you tell people you are, you are not.” (Smith, J. 2014).  Meaning that if you declare your title and that you are the best, it implies a standard that you may not have or are unable to uphold. It implies that you are at the highest level and provide the highest quality.   

Great leaders and quality coaches are followed and admired, where dictators are feared and despised.  The best leaders take responsibility for their follower’s failures not just glorify their successes. Far to often I see coaches boost the performance of athlete’s, that are really great and they do not speak about the ones that are on the journey.  Quality coaches never claim to be the BEST; they do not claim to have created the BEST A quality coach invests time in there education, and experiences. They are bound by professional ethics and practices, instructors and trainers are not bound to this professional standard  (at the moment). 

A quality coach never does it alone. The do not have the DIY habit (Do it yourself). This habit can be good for home improvement projects but in order to lead you need others. You need a team of the right people that are empowered to succeed. A quality coach always has amazing assistants and dedicated athletes. 

When a person states that they are the best in the fitness industry and that they have more to offer than anyone else, they are no longer teachable. As a quality coach, you have to avoid dismissing others input, remain teachable and open to all intelligent contributions. The legendary basketball coach John Wooden stated “ It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” (Wooden, J. & Jamison, S. 2007). 

Quality coaches know that results are produced through people, and that this requires building strong relationships. According to Williams (2010) coach-athlete communication should build a positive social and psychological environment, which enables goal achievement and success (p.155). The transformational leadership model works in a way that allows a coach to help an athlete meet their goals (Williams, J. 2010). The model relies strongly on the relationship built between leader and follower, or coach and athlete.  Just like in the dictionary, relationships come before results. 

Declaring you are the BEST, is truly just baiting people into a relationship. The professional pictures of six-pack abs, butt’s and boob’s do not make you a professional or the BEST COACH.  Great leaders neither encourage nor condone corrupt and unethical behavior.  The ends do not justify the means and in my opinion there is no excuse for the deliberate deception and disregard some self-proclaimed coaches have for people’s well being.  

If you truly want your athlete’s to succeed be more mindful of what words you use. Do not bait people to come and see you, let your ability to lead, empower and teach, guide people to you.  When you use your position and claim you are the BEST, you are stating that you are the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category ( in fitness and coaching that is a huge claim! How do you measure the BEST? There are so many quality instructors and providers out there. 

People think because you are helping them loose weight or get in shape that you are doing what is best for them, that you are improving their well-being. But without the proper education, knowledge and experience that help can negatively impact people. Be mindful of what you claim! Be professional, and ethical. 

 Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln.

Author – Jenn Swagar  


Smith, J. (2014) The Business Insider. 

Wooden, J. & Jamison, S. (2007). The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership. McGraw-Hill