Coach to Leader series: Positional Leader

Chris De Piero

Chris has spent the past 30+ years in the game of hockey as a player, Head Coach, General Manager, scout, mentor, consultant and most importantly as a parent. He has done so in the NHL, with Hockey Canada, in the OHL and the OHA, as well as European pro hockey. In addition, he has spent 15+ years as a classroom teacher as well as being in leadership positions as an administrator with a private high school in Toronto. All these experiences have allowed Chris to be able to work with, lead, coach, mentor, advise, and consult with various personalities, ultimately gleaning some championship habits along the way. Chris has also co-authored a personal development book titled, THE POWER OF TEAMMATES. Follow @TeammatesTrio on Twitter for more information.

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My goal through this series is to challenge you coaches to think of yourselves as more than coaches and grow yourselves into leaders.

Your personal leadership is ultimately your DNA to greatness. 

To reiterate from last months piece, I believe coaching is about the X’s and O’s and leadership is all about the people. We have the title of coach, but we have the responsibility of a leader. We certainly need to be adept at the coaching and it can win games, but it is in the leadership that we win championships. 

Antonio Conte, the celebrated Italian soccer coach now with Tottenham Hotspur of the British Premiership, said it well:

“The word coach has to encompass everything. You can’t only be good at tactics, just as you can’t only be good at motivation, just as you can’t only be good from a psychological point of view, just as you can’t only be good in how you manage the club and the media. You have got to try and excel at everything. To do this you have got to study and since I became a coach, it has been continuous study.”

This requires work – a lot of work, as well as a strong commitment to your craft, on a daily basis.

Successful leaders think differently. They are extremely intentional about where they are and where they want to go, and they think strategically about how they can get there. As leadership expert, John Maxwell says time and time again, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Maxwell has developed the proven paradigm titled, The 5 Levels of Leadership. I believe these five levels are applicable to a hockey coach and their journey to being a leader. 

Today we will delve into Level 1 – Position – ‘Position is a poor substitution for influence’

My goal through this series is to challenge you coaches to think of yourselves as more than coaches and grow yourselves into leaders . . .



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