Over the years I've had a wide variety of clients.
And while my job has always been that of a physical fitness trainer or injury management coach, I regularly get asked questions about more esoteric topics.
Such as earlier today on a Zoom call with a remote client we were talking about leadership.
So what about leadership?
What is it?
Why is it an important topic?
And why does this shaved monkey who shouts at people for a living got any say in what is and is not leadership?
My underlying thought process in my own journey through fitness, which started in martial arts before leading to strength and conditioning, has always been to become a "better human animal"
I actually toyed with the idea of having "better human animal" feature as the title to this website.
I still might...
And part of becoming a good leader is to first become a better human animal.
It is my opinion that the role of leader is not assumed, it is granted. Just like respect. You could say that leadership can't happen without respect, therefore respect is leadership?
As I mentioned, I grew up in martial arts, Wado Ryu karate being my first (and foundational) of those arts.
Japanese Karate has a very strict hierarchy, signified by the belt structure. White belts are at the bottom of the pile, and the instructor or Sensei sits at the top.
How did the Sensei get there?
Well, in a good school / club / dojo, the Sensei got there because of their knowledge and experience which were hard earned over years of study and training, buoyed up by their personality and genuine wont to help people. This instructor attracts students a bit like a light attracts moths. They shine bright and those who are willing and wanting come to them. The students show respect because the instructor first shows them respect for simply showing up, for putting in effort, for continually listening and applying the lessons. Respect is first given by the instructor before it is then given back by the students.
This was my experience growing up in martial arts.
And this shapes my views on leadership.