Leadership in Sports One of Term Paper

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It was after this season that Phil Jackson left the Platoons of Albany and joined the Chicago Bulls as an Assistant Coach, and as it is generally said, the 'rest is history'. (Lakers Coach Phil Jackson signs with WMA and Original Entertainment)

In a nutshell, a leader can be seen as a person or an individual who is inevitably the most important person within the group or organization where he is working or associated with in any way. It is this very leader who is most often responsible for the successes and the failures of the group or the team, which is under him. However, it is sometimes said that success and failure also lies in the hands of the followers, and in nay sort of organization or group, it is in the hands of the follower that the leader's goals and dreams are generally carried out or executed. Chris Lee has stated theta the ultimate 'litmus test' to test the abilities of a leader is to see whether there is in fact anyone following the so-called leader. When there are none, this means that that individual is not an effective leader. It does help, in some cases, to develop effective followers, and this fact in itself would ensure that there would be effective leaders within the group or organization. (Empowerment: Developing Effective Followers)

An effective leader would therefore have to be an individual who not only takes on the responsibility for the performance of the entire team under him, but also sets goals and steers his group in the direction in which the attainment of the goal would be easier and better possible. A good leader must also be able to set the tone within the organization or group that would enable the team members to be as effective as possible in the pursuit of the goal, and this means that a good leader must be able to empower his followers with the prerequisite conditions under which his own leadership qualities become effective and bring the desired results for the group or the team or the organization. Phil Jackson is one of the leaders whose working methods are similar to those that have been outlined above. He is not only an excellent leader himself, but he has also managed to, through effective leadership methods, to incite and excite his followers into taking the actions that would bring the team and the coach the success that they deserve. (Empowerment: Developing Effective Followers)

The Coach not only decides which member of the team plays at what time, but also follows a general strategy for his team, and provides an almost visionary ideal for the entire group of basketball players who are training under him. The team members are not only expected to follow him, but also to emulate his visionary ideals, and this is one of the most effective forms of leadership, wherein when the followers imitate the leadership qualities demonstrated by their leader, in this case, the Coach Phil Jackson, and when this is achieved, then the entire team would be able to share one single vision, and follow one single purpose, and not only would there be better communication between all the members of the team, but there would also be more and better empowerment of the individual, and all this means that the team would ultimately be met with great success in the chosen field, which in this case is the basketball game under the leadership of Coach Phil Jackson. (Empowerment: Developing Effective Followers)

What is it about this enigmatic individual that enabled him to lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships in the nine years that he was a Coach for this team, and led the Los Angeles Lakers into a victory wherein the team was able to win the 2000 Title, the very first year that he acted as their Coach? What are his coaching methods, and what is the style in which he coaches and motivates his team into victories at every turn? Phil Jackson, many individuals feel, is a veritable study in 'adaptability', whereby he, even when he was but a small boy, conformed to the wishes of both his parents, both of whom were Evangelical Ministers, and, according to their wishes, tried to expand his spiritual learning both in the classroom as well as in his private life. When he joined the basketball team New York Knicks in his college, he was able to successfully adapt to the methods that had been adapted by the team in their play, which were basically unselfish and non-dominating, and more team-oriented than individual oriented. (NBA Coach Bio, Phil Jackson)

When he later became a Coach during the 1980's and 1990's, Phil Jackson was able to turn the Chicago team that was actually built on the success of a single most important star player, Michael Jordan, into an NBA Champion, not once, but six times over. This was when the leadership qualities of the Coach Phil Jackson were amply demonstrated, when he was able to prove that he would be easily adaptable to the presence of a large dominating center, whereas his victory with the Lakers and O'Neal were assured. However, the fact is that this talented individual has remained basically remarkably unswerving as well as consistent in his dealings with his group and team of players. He has also been an outstandingly self-possessed and focused person, whose self-confidence radiates through every action that he undertakes to perform. It is all these good qualities in him as a person that have managed to make him the good leader that he is in bringing victory to the individuals that he influences. He may be firm, but he is never severe, and this means that he is firm and unyielding when it comes to influencing his team of members, but he is not an individual who would have to bully his players into submitting to the demands that he may put on them. (NBA Coach Bio, Phil Jackson)

The opinion of his team members is that he neither babies them, nor does he bully them. What he offers in its stead is the feeling, for each player of the team that they have the valuable opportunity to be able to judge and learn for themselves how and in way and manner they would be able to achieve success, and be able to develop the structure by which they would be able to attain victory as a single team. Phil Jackson as a Coach has managed to achieve something that many other coaches over many years have been trying to achieve, but without much success, and this is to build a consistent and reliable team around the success and star quality of a single Megastar amidst them. This Coach, with the help of a few other like for example, his assistant Tex Winter, who is in fact the chief proponent of the so-called 'triangle offense' has managed to create various extremely complex and at times difficult offensive and defensive strategies that not only had the desired result of enhancing Jordan's efficiency and power as a player, but also made the entire team of players who were playing with Jordan better players, as players in a team.

Phil Jackson's philosophy and thinking were these: if he was able to develop a Court full of able players, who would be the best players ever, and these players were to play with the star player Michael Jordan, then the opposing team would find it almost impossible to defeat such a powerful team of players and also to defeat Jordan. The Coach as well as his assistant was both right in what they had assumed, and Jordan became a most popular and the most important star player, a veritable superstar of basketball after Phil Jackson took over as the Coach. After tasting such sweet success with Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson left for Los Angeles, and there he managed to convince O'Neal who was the game's most important pivot man, to accept him as a Coach, because, he said, he had the necessary system and method that would make O'Neal the champion that he was meant to be, if he followed the right methods to do so. What is the best advantage of engaging Jackson as the Coach is the fact that since he himself was a player at one time, he would definitely be able to understand the intricacies of the game better than any body else, and this is the secret to his continued success as Coach. (NBA Coach Bio, Phil Jackson)

What is even more important about the methods used by Coach…[continue]

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