Confident leader
Are you a confident leader? (Stock Free Images)

Do you want to be a successful leader in 2014?  It is a rhetorical question isn’t it? Of course you do. A better question may be do you have a strategy or system for success?

If not, I want to point you to the December 30 edition of Sports Illustrated. The incomparable Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was profiled along with additional mentions of some the greatest receivers of all-time.

As I read the article, I gleaned the following 13 Practices Of successful leaders in 2014:

  1. Successful Leaders Decide Early To Pay The Price Needed For Success. As a freshman wideout at Georgia Tech, Johnson was outplayed by then-Miami Hurricane All-American Antrel Rolle.  Johnson confessed, “It made me understand that I was going to have to work harder, get stronger, and improve my technique a lot if I wanted to play with the big boys.”
  2. Successful Leaders Are Recognized Publicly For What They Do Privately. Johnson does much of his training alone.
  3. Successful Leaders Are Diligent. Johnson quotes one of his trainers as he strives to “be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
  4. Successful Leaders Make Systems Work. Johnson is often compared to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Rice was not just part of Bill Walsh’s West-Coast offensive system, with the help of Joe Montana and John Taylor he made the system.
  5. Successful Leaders Pay Attention To The Smallest Details. As a Pro Bowl assistant coach, current Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said, “Jerry comes out and everything is perfect on his uniform.” This even included the towel tucked neatly in his pants when most players thought of the game simply as an exhibition and performed as such.
  6. Successful Leaders Take Nothing For Granted. Schwartz gave additional insights about Rice at the Pro Bowl. He said, ”He practiced the way an undrafted free agent would.”
  7. Successful Leaders Work Hard. Johnson’s receivers coach at Georgia Tech, Buddy Geis said, ”God touched him in so many different ways. But Calvin works like He didn’t give him anything.”
  8. Successful Leaders Demand Excellence From Yourself And Others. Johnson has a fear of not fully honoring his enormous gifts.
  9. Successful Leaders Create Opportunities For Others. While facing constant double and triple-teams, Johnson has provided many opportunities for his teammates.
  10. Successful Leaders Overcome Adversity. As a rookie, receivers coach Shawn Jefferson coached Johnson very hard.  He was verbally challenging and forced Johnson to “push through pain…it was good for his growth.”
  11. Successful Leaders Do Not Make Excuses. Johnson makes no excuses when he does not produce despite being double and tripled-teamed every play.
  12. Successful Leaders Do Their Job. Cleveland Brown wideout Josh Gordon reminds everyone, “I only have to do my job.”
  13. Successful Leaders Produce Positive Results. When reflecting on the great Olympic gold medalist and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Bob Hayes, Hall of Famer Raymond Berry said, ”Do you know what Bob Hayes had to do to get open?  He left the line of scrimmage.”

Pay The Price, Do It Privately, Be Diligent, Make Systems Work, Pay Attention To The Smallest Details, Take Nothing For Granted, Work Hard, Demand Excellence From Yourself and Others,  Create Opportunities For Others, Overcome Adversity, Don’t Make Excuses, Do Your Job, and Produce Positive Results.  If you do practice these 13 things, you will be a successful leader in 2013.

Brian Dodd’s daytime job is as a Generosity Architect and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. During the last 10-plus years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with many of the greatest church leaders in America. He also also has over 25 years of church volunteer and staff experience. Check out his blog: Brian Dodd on Leadership.

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