Joe Gibbs, the former head football coach of the Washington Redskins, used to preach to his players that to be a good teammate you must “lose yourself.” Gibbs, who guided his teams to 8 playoff appearances, 4 conference championship victories, and 3 Super Bowl titles, knew a thing or two about building great teams.
The message Gibbs sent to his teams was about unselfishness. To be a great team, you must forget about yourself and put the team first. Lose yourself. Forget about self recognition and make team success the top priority.
I think the same rule applies for effective leadership. Leadership is about others and what we can do to make life better for our team members. Leadership is not about the leader. It’s about the people we lead. It’s about loving, serving, and caring for the individuals on our teams. So to be the most effective leader, lose yourself. Lose yourself and instead focus on the people you lead. In return, your team members will follow you willingly and passionately and they’ll strive for championship performance just like the teams Joe Gibbs coached.
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