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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Deeper Look Paper – Coach K

The leadership approach that brings about the change in social systems as well as individuals is referred to as transformational leadership. In its ideal form, transformational leadership creates positive as well as a valuable change in the followers with the outcome of developing followers into leaders (Lindenbaum, Dirk and Susan Cartwright, pg7). Endorsed in its reliable form, it facilitates the morale, motivation as well as the performance of the followers using various approaches. Among others, they include linking the follower's sense of distinctiveness plus personality to the objective and shared the uniqueness of the group; being an example to the factions by inspiring them; thought-provoking the followers to take on higher responsibilities of their duties and to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the subjects. This ensures the leader can align the collective interests of the group to optimize performance. Coach Krzyzewski, famously known as Coach K, exemplifies all these aspects of a transformational leader. While he was well nurtured by a transformational leader, Coach Knight, he learned everything from the passion, quality of preparation to the understanding of the game and his players.

First, working for a transformational leader is an uplifting as well as wonderful experience. Coach K's relationship with players, was more like a family affair. When being named as the sportsman of the year by The Sporting News, they referred to Coach K as a family man first, an instructor second, and a basketball trainer third (Snook, Scott A. et al. pg 5). In every aspect, he was what is right about sports. Grant Hill, a former Duke Player and who worked with Coach K describes their relationship as more like a family one (Snook, Scott A. et al. pg 5). He says the coach treated them like his sons and continued to offer resourceful advice. Even Coach Knight reminisced their relationship as one that was great. If anything, he claims to be truly grateful for having worked with him both as a player and as a coach.

As a transformative leader that he is, Coach K, puts passion as well as energy into everything that pertains to his work. Even so, his flawless influence and dedication to his work had seen him earn respect, trust and admiration coming his way on and off the court. Perhaps this is the reason he became as significant to Duke University off the court as he was in it. On top of being the leading man of the basketball program, he was accorded the opportunity to serve on the faculty of Duke's business school. On the other hand, his passion and dedication can be seen in the decisions that he makes. For instance, the decision to decline the $40 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers comes down to his dedication and passion for serving Duke University since it took up all his heart as he puts it (Snook, Scott A. et al. pg 1).

Transformative leaders begin with the development of vision. This is an outlook of the forthcoming that intends to enthuse and transform prospective groups. As an inspirational motivator, Coach K provided a compelling vision of the upcoming and rallied his player's commitment towards the common vision. While this dream may be advanced by the entire team, the significant aspect is that the leader buys into it, hook, line and sinker. Coach K's military background ensured that he developed a unregimented approach to training (Snook, Scott A. et al. pg 1). He coached by the rule that anything that is detrimental to the basketball team was to be dealt with accordingly. This was the case to protect the entire basketball program, and Duke University since anything that was detrimental to a player was bound to affect the entire system. The coach ensured that the vision was supported by the discipline of the whole team. He enforced discipline on his team by heavily investing in skills and drills as well as strategies.

Additionally, Coach K spent tremendous time trying to understand his players. Many times he would get inside a players head to learn where the player comes from and to get him into the team's vision. He also ensured he never communicated entirely to the whole crowd when the message was targeted to one player. He communicated up close and personal, eye to eye. With all due consideration, this is an individual consideration trait where his mentoring, development, as well as coaching, was tailored to satisfy everyone. Even so, his idealized influence, trust, admiration, and interactivity made him even more liked by everyone around him, a trait exemplified by transformational leaders. He gauged feeling, confidence levels and established instant trust through looking into the player's eyes. Even better, the principle cuts both ways since they could as well read him. This triggers inspirational motivation that provided a compelling vision of the future thus fostering the commitment the players had on their team.

Coach K demonstrated intellectual stimulation through the challenges of managing the team that he faced. For instance, the two players, Jason and Shane who could not pass the ball to each other. His handling of the situation not only makes him an outstanding leader but a competent manager as well. The controlling and problem-solving role he played showed the coach was not just a leader but a manager as well.

Leading the charge from the front line during the action can be closely associated with Coach K. Transformative leaders are expected to be visible and those that stand up to be counted instead of hiding behind their players. Their actions and attitudes show how the other should behave. Coach K. made an effort to rally and motivate his players during basketball games by constantly making rounds, soothing, listening and enthusing. It can be argued that his unwavering commitment kept his players going and more importantly winning. His transformative leadership traits can as well be seen in how he pursues to impart his players with top notch level of dedication to the vision of the basketball team.

I am a big sports fan and plan to work in the sports industry in the days to come. I am majoring in marketing and have ambitions of working as a marketer of either sport or an entertainment firm. My interest to work in the sports industry is compounded by the experience of playing soccer in the United Kingdom for two years. In my playing stints, I learned various attributes of an effective leader, which enhances my chances of becoming a successful leader. I am creative, team player and get along with everyone. Additionally, I happen to have lived both in the United States and the United Kingdom, meaning I have the understanding of diversity. This implies I would bring diversity to the table as a leader in the marking job that I shall partake in the sports industry.

The case, Coach K. A Matter of the Heart has many lessons that enhance the leadership traits of anyone that takes heed of them. I have learned that is important to develop a vision as a leader to excite and transform potential subjects as much as possible. The selling of my vision to my subjects is as well important. I will apply this by developing trust with my subjects. I understand that it takes commitment and energy and I am willing to go the extra mile. Finding the way forward and aligning the interests of the department or group will also be my undertaking. I shall achieve this by having a ready strategy in place and happily explore the other possible routes at my disposal. Even so, I trust that finding the way forward is a continuing progression of course development. Therefore, as a transformational leader, I admit that there shall be roadblocks on the way and strategically plan as a manager to overcome them. Besides that, I will employ the use of rituals, ceremonies, as well as cultural symbolism to motivate and keep the spirits of my teammates high. As a matter of fact, I appreciate that transformational leadership is a very important part of effective managers for the reason that leader competence defines the eventual accomplishment of the organization.

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