Leadership and the Blue Jackets

April 5, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) reacts after scoring a hat trick during the third period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

The future leadership of the Blue Jackets will be a topic for the summer. For now, let’s not talk about the Captaincy, lets talk about the leadership.

Recently, The Cannon used the phrase “Captain Jack and the Wiz” in a post re the leaders of the future for the club. Also being mentioned are Umburger and Proposal. Rick Nash, who sports the “C” may or may not be back. And least we not forget, from the management side, we have a Coach and a GM. [and maybe the "adviser", Craig Patrick]

In a previous post re leadership, there were some interesting and powerful quotes on leadership. Let’s start with a reasonable beginning…If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” – Henry Kissinger. Been there, done that!!  Could it be that the leadership of the Jackets has suffered from too many changes in the direction that the club was headed. Ha, wishful thinking. But it is some food for thought. If you make cars or sell groceries, you don’t care what the operating scheme of the CEO is. Down of the “floor” you care about your function. I can’t believe that on the ice in the heat of the game, any player is going to stop and think… “let’s see, are we going to be an aggressive, defensive club or are we going to forecheck and just keep players from coming down the ice?” Yes, that could be a strategy for a particular game/period, but “on the ice” in the heat of the game, players want to play and win.

Every game match up requires a game plan. The Coach has the job of analyzing his teams available strengths/weaknesses and have a plan that will best allow his team to overcome the other teams available strengths/weaknesses. But the overall team operating plan, referred to as team identity affects the available strengths/weaknesses. Much has been written in the past 9 months about the Blue Jackets lack of team identity. I’m throw in a term here, Charisma . It’s a quality that makes people believe in that person.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines charisma as:

  • A rare personal quality attributed to leaders who arouse fervent popular devotion and enthusiasm.
  • Personal magnetism or charm

In the case of the Blue Jackets, this is a needed quality from the GM, the Coach and the player leaders of the team. This is the force that binds all together to make a team, to set and attain goals. Is charisma required for all 3 above, no, but probably at least 2 of the 3. Is charisma required for all player leaders? no. Is charisma always the same “fanatic crazy fever we instantly recall in “charismatic religious leaders”? No, but it is a force to motivate others.

We hear the phrase, “natural born leader”. We see children playing, and leaders emerge in the play group. Why do groups have leaders? And if none is designed, a leader will emerge from any group if you just allow it.  What constitutes a leader. What characteristics support leadership. Do all leaders have the same underlying characteristics?

So, why do we need a leader, or a Captain?  Henry Kissinger also said. “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” Wow, can any Jacket fan not relate to that?
I didn’t mean to string out this leadership thing, but I think we need to visit the subject again in another post

We Want The Cup

 

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