In the National Football League, champions are built from strong leadership. Recent studies from the London School of Economics show that no one is born a leader. Using IQ and personality tests, the researchers found no significant underlying traits that defined “leaders” from “non-leaders.” Leaders simply make a clear decision to lead. From the first day of Training Camp, Russell Wilson decided to lead. What makes this young rookie a leader?
Leaders are hearty with approbation and lavish with praise. They do not criticize, condemn or complain.
During a bad snap by Max Unger (#60) and one blown assignment by Paul McQuistan (#67), David Vobora (#58) of the Rams comes rushing in and knocks Russell Wilson down for a sack. Does Wilson criticize, condemn or complain to McQuistan or Unger after the play? No – leaders are hearty with approbation and lavish with praise. Wilson goes up to McQuistan and Unger after the play, “Hey! That one was my fault (due to Wilson fumbling the bad snap). We’re good. Let’s go to work now. Let’s keep playing.” Another interesting thing on this play is that Wilson does not panic when the snap gets fumbled. He calmly picks up the ball and continues the play.
Leaders focus, set the tone, and above all have fun.
On New Years Day, Wilson set the tone for the team by working long hours watching film preparing for the Redskins. Wilson believes in the Separation through the Preparation. His focus is laser-sharp.
“More than anything, I think they saw how I prepared. I’ve been the same way throughout my whole life just by the way my parents raised me by focusing on the little details, the attention to detail.” — Russell Wilson
Leaders communicate effectively through storytelling, dramatization, listening and simplifying concepts.
When you listen to Wilson’s interviews, it is evident that Wilson knows how to communicate clearly and knows how to tell stories.
“A hundred yards is a hundred yards.”— Russell Wilson
“My height does not define my skill set.”— Russell Wilson
“Whether things are going really well or not so well you just want to play one play at a time and stay in the now.”— Russell Wilson
Leaders seek to make others feel important.
Wilson goes up to Golden Tate (#81) on the sideline, “C’mon now. Be big now. I’m going to need you. Let’s go get it.” If you’re Golden Tate, how does this make you feel? It makes you want to make a big play, and that’s exactly what happened with a clutch catch down the field by Tate. Leaders make those around them better by making these people feel important.
Leaders are passionate and possess positive emotional energy. They know how to invoke the Law of Attraction.
During the Rams game, Russell Wilson throws a touch-down pass to Zach Miller. The touch-down was removed because of a “offensive pass interference” call. On the sidelines right after the play, did Russell Wilson complain or criticize the player who made the stupid penalty? No – leaders don’t do that. With positive energy, Wilson cheers on the offensive players, “We’re alright now. We just need to stay on schedule. That’s all it is. We got to stay on schedule. C’mon.”
Leaders wake up everyday to leave a legacy and not solely for financial gain. What did you do with your time here on this planet?
Wilson lives every day with purpose on and off the field. He is the National Ambassador for the CR3 Diabetes Association, which provides life saving diabetes supplies to those in need. Wilson’s father suffered from diabetes. Wilson also visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital frequently, works with with Verizon Wireless to work with high school students to avoid texting, and he works with a teen shelter and the Matt Talbot Center. Wilson leads by example, and that’s what leaders do.
Leaders motivate with the carrot and not with the stick, and develop high reputations for people to live up to.
On the sideline Wilson talks to Anthony McCoy (#85) and instructs him on how to modify his play. Does Wilson tell McCoy what he is doing wrong? No – leaders develop a high reputation for people to live up to. The rookie Wilson tells the veteran McCoy, “If theres Two Tampa and the guy settles down, you can go anywhere back there, you know what I’m saying? You don’t need to go all the way across – because you can go over to the left tackle… You’re my “Check Down” over the middle.” When the opportunity came up later, McCoy ends up making a huge game-altering catch downfield, living up to the high reputation given to him by Wilson.
Leaders build other leaders, and put people “in-charge” to “take ownership” of something. Are you a leader?
Listen and watch how Wilson leads by visiting the Seahawks.com website.