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Show Your Leadership...Don't Just Talk It

by Kevin Eastman, Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach and owner of Kevin Eastman Basketball

Leadership comes in all sizes, all colors, and all forms. No matter how it comes it has as its foundation ďexample leadership." No matter what your captains say, what your managers say, or what your CEO says, people do not consistently follow words. Words are just sounds from someoneís mouth if they aren't followed up by action and example.

Walking the walk, practicing what you preach, exemplifying the very things you want those you are leading to do is a critical part of leadership. Verbal leadership can help you lead, but on its own, it doesn't pass the test of time.

Verbal leadership on its own can help but it's not mandatory. In my mind, example leadership IS mandatory. People are always observing and reading their leaders. They expect more than words before they buy into what the leader wants. They are looking for examples of the leader doing exactly what he or she is asking them to do.

We have some experienced leaders on our team. All are considered to be our hardest workers. Not a day goes by that you donít see them working on their games or their bodies -- and most days, on both. When they place demands on their teammates, their teammates know they aren't asking them to do anything that they themselves are not willing to do! They have seen them walk the walk. They have seen them working out every day. They have seen these leaders do exactly what they are asking them to do.

For our staff, we have a great leader in Doc Rivers. You will consistently see Doc watching film until the late hours of the night or in the very early hours of the morning. He is never, ever going to ask us to give more to the team than he himself is willing to give. How canít you work your tail off for a leader like this?

The best leaders donít just talk a good game. Those leaders are eventually going to be found out, eventually going to lose the trust of their staff. The best leaders are willing to not only "tell" but "show" how to get things done. They live the life of their requests. Simply put, the best leaders ask those they lead to help them reach the team's goals, not just instruct them to do all the work.

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