Leadership in Unexpected Places

A really special moment happened on Sunday morning. My husband was away for work, I had rushed my son (and reluctant daughter) to an 8.15am junior football match and it happened to be Mother’s Day.

The boys played quite a rough team and had been going down like flies with injuries throughout the morning, including receiving a couple of hits after the whistle. This is fairly unusual in our junior footy league and the boys were a bit rattled for a quarter. To their credit, the coaches managed to settle them down, they finished the final quarter with four goals to the opposition’s one and safely won the match.

In congratulations, the coach made sure they stood in a big pack within earshot of the other team to sing the team song as loudly as they could. What a great way to show that teamwork and focusing on the game will beat rough play any day. Then the special moment happened. As the coaches finished up their special mentions of players the boys’ wonderful senior coach, David, took a moment to remind the boys that it was Mother’s Day. He told them that it is manly to hug your mum in public, it’s manly to be grateful to your mum and it’s manly to tell her you love her. He then urged the boys to remember that as they grow into the wonderful young men they are going to become that they should never stop showing love and affection to their mums.

“There are so many little opportunities each and every day to show leadership”

I was blown away by the leadership shown by the coach and how the boys all hung on every word he said. His words will influence them for years and are of such value and importance because they came from their footy coach.

It struck me that there are so many little opportunities each and every day to show leadership and impact on the people around you – not just in those situations where you are expected to lead, but in the ones where you are not. It might be praising a co-worker’s attitude in public, showing kindness to a stranger on the street, a conversation with your own child about putting fifty cents of their pocket money aside for others or guiding a friend’s child through a sticky patch. It’s these small moments of leadership that have such big impacts and meaning in our lives.

David had already shown great leadership to the boys by calming them down and ensuring they didn’t respond to the rough play in kind, and also by letting them have their moment in a graceful way through the very loud team song. But he saw an opportunity to make a difference to the boys in their attitude and lives off the footy ground as well and he took it, understanding that these opportunities to lead should be grasped when they arise. It’s what makes us part of a community and it’s what makes our community stronger.

– Kirrily, GM