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Jeff Janssen's Books

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What is Poor Leadership Costing You?

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Have you ever stopped to consider what ineffective team captains might be costing you and your team?

Because effective leadership is so important, many in the business world are now quantifying the cost of ineffective leadership. For example, DDI, a leading researcher in the corporate world, has created a Cost of Poor Leadership Calculator.

According to their calculations, one poor leader costs a company more than $126,000.00 over the course of a year due to low productivity, turnover, and dissension. Ouch!!!

With this in mind, have you ever wondered what poor leadership on behalf of your captains might be costing you during a season?

While we can't easily or exactly put a monetary price on the cost of poor leadership, consider the following questions:

  • How many close games have you lost because your leaders didn't maintain your team's focus, confidence, and poise under pressure?
  • How many of your seasons have been short-circuited because your leaders failed to establish and enforce the kind of high-level work ethic in practices, weights, and conditioning necessary for success?
  • How many conflicts, chemistry problems, and major dramas could have been prevented on your team if you had a leader who was willing to address or alert you to the issues?
  • How many black eyes and other embarrassing situations could have been averted if you had a leader step up, speak out, and do the right thing rather than succumb to peer pressure?

Leadership Factor = Plus/Minus 33%

While it is difficult to measure, my best estimate is that leadership is a plus or minus 33% factor in the sports world. (The above-mentioned DDI uses an even higher figure of 40% in the business world.)

What I mean by this is that poor leadership could cost your team to lose up to 1/3 more of your games than with average leadership. And, your team could win 1/3 more games with effective leadership.

Put practically, a team with average talent and average leadership may end up 15-15 in a 30 game season. That same team with average talent but poor leadership could end up with a 10-20 record. And finally, that same team with average talent but great leadership could end up 20-10.

Ask any NCAA basketball team if they would rather be 10-20, 15-15, or 20-10 heading into Selection Sunday in March.

Ask any NCAA football team what kind of bowl game they would go to with a record of 4-8, 6-6, or 8-4.

(Monetarily, this difference is significant and measurable as the 4-8 team has no bowl revenue and difficulty selling tickets next year coming off a losing season. The 6-6 team will be in a bowl game with a roughly $1 million dollar payout. And the 8-4 team will be in a reputable bowl game with a $3 million dollar payout.)

Ask any coach at any level what his/her job satisfaction or security would be like with 1/3 more or less wins...

Further, the Leadership Factor of plus or minus 33% just pertains to a team's record - which is only part of the equation.

Think about how the quality of your athletes' leadership affects your team's and school's reputation...

  • What are a school's chances of having someone get hurt because of underage drinking or drunk driving due to a lack of responsible leaders?
  • How many incidents of hazing and dangerous initiation rituals could be prevented if leaders stood up and said, "No, that's not right!"
  • How many cases of academic ineligibility/dishonesty, drug problems, steroid use, unintended pregnancy, etc. could be minimized each year if a caring peer leader was willing to confront and redirect a teammate earlier?

When it comes to leadership, it's not just games and trophies that are at stake here but team, school, and community reputations, coaches' and athletic administrators' careers, and young people's futures and lives!

As you can see, there is an often overlooked but important emotional, financial, and human COST with poor leadership.

And numerous, over-arching, long-term BENEFITS with effective leadership.

What is the Leadership Factor on your team? -33%... 0%... or +33%

What is poor leadership costing you?

Because leadership is such an important intangible, be sure to invest in your leaders - not only because it will help you win more, but more so because it is the right thing to do.

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