Is a coach a leader? Northouse defines leadership as a person who influences a collective of people to accomplish one goal. (Northouse, 2016). Leaders are also more effective when they have a good understanding of who they are(PSU WC. L.3 P.2). Although, a leader can come in many forms. They can be assigned their position or they could have worked their way up the chain to become one. A leader could be a leader through having desired traits or they could have figured these things out through the process. (Northouse, 2016). What about a coach? Can a coach also be a leader? A coach is defined as a person who instructs, prompts or directs someone. (Merriam-Webster, 2020). Let’s discuss how a coach can be a leader.
In looking at a scenario where a soccer coach is encouraging others to run to the goal. This coach didn’t get there by just showing up. (Well actually he did, but he had to be hired first!). This person had to go through a process himself to help direct these children to play the game. He had to have experience, understanding, and knowledge of how to play the game. Characteristics of a great coach are awareness, problem solving abilities, and motivational skills.
What characteristics can a leader have? They can be motivational, aware, and have problem solving skills as well. (Northouse, 2016). A leader should have determination, sociability, emotional intelligence, integrity, and confidence. (Northouse, 2016).Are these desirable traits of a coach as well? A coach should definitely be determined and sociable. A coach should have confidence, and integrity as well.
Can someone have all of these traits and still not be considered a leader? There is a huge possibility that a person could be falsifying some of these things because they have what could be called one of the six dark-personality traits. These are known as argumentative, insensitive, narcissistic, fear of failure, perfectionism, impulsivity(Northouse, 2016). A good example of this is the Mighty Ducks movie, when the other team coach lost in the championships due to his insensitivity. He failed to lead his team because of this dark personality trait.
So with all of these traits being visible in a person, can a coach be described as a leader relevantly? Northouse says with all of these six traits, they make up the “ right stuff” to be perceived as a leader in today’s society. Not all coaches are leaders, and not all leaders are coaches. Focus on their traits and try to match them to see what outcomes you will get!
Northouse, P. G. (2016) Leadership: Theory and Practice p. 1-27