Blue and Gold Spring | Summer 2021 Volume 2 • Issue 1 - Page 53

“ Knowing the weight of responsibility lies heavily on your shoulders can naturally make a leader want to maintain control .”
Then he reminds us , “ As a leader , you have the responsibility to make decisions , but others have the responsibility to carry out and implement your decisions . It is very difficult to fully get behind and promote a plan when an individual doesn ’ t feel their experience is being valued .”
Coaxum contrasts that with a command-and-control style that defined athletic , professional and military organizations through much of the 20th century .
He later quotes Dwight D . Eisenhower , Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II and later 34th President of the United States , “ You don ’ t lead by hitting someone over the head – that ’ s assault , not leadership .”
Coaxum takes us through example after example , both personal and drawn from others , of what good leadership is and how it ’ s applied .
He cites the example of NBA legend Michael Jordan of staying true to one ’ s own character and strengths . In his “ Last Dance ” documentary Jordan says , “ This is who I am . That ’ s how I played the game . That was my mentality . If you don ’ t want to play that way , don ’ t play that way .”
Coaxum adds , “ Embrace the positive characteristics you learn from others , but utilize those characteristics in ways that are true to who you are and your natural personality .”
Each chapter is short on pages , but long on counsel and illustration . And each has one or two sentence “ Key Takeaways ” at the end that summarize and provide jumping off points for someone wanting to build their own presentation on leadership .
“ Embrace the positive characteristics you learn from others , but utilize those characteristics in ways that are true to who you are and your natural personality .”
A valuable component is that Coaxum takes on conflict , how to recognize it and how to resolve it . He does not sugarcoat , although he does remind us , quoting Albert Einstein , “ In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .”
“ It is very easy to ‘ lead ’ when things are operating smoothly , and everyone is happy , motivated and getting along . True leadership reveals itself when things are rocky , tensions are high . Real leaders take on the issues that most people stay away from .”
Later , he adds , “ It all comes back to communication ...… A leader ’ s values are the single biggest component to building trust ...… Values are to an organization what character is to an individual .”
“ True leadership reveals itself when things are rocky , tensions are high . Real leaders take on the issues that most people stay away from .”
Through his years as an athlete , officer , coach and mentor , Tony Coaxum has learned and absorbed life lessons that carry far beyond the field of war or play .
His iron is sharp . Those willing to engage will find their own leadership iron sharpened .
“ The Leadership Playbook ” is available through Amazon . It retails for $ 24.95 .
SPRING | SUMMER 2021
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