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Motivational Speaker, Coach, and Trainer, Coach Jim Johnson

Six Leadership questions with Ashley Zahn

How do you define leadership?

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and discuss leadership with one of my professional speaking clients, Ashley Zahn.  Ashley is the girls JV basketball Head Coach at a local high school here in Rochester, NY and also very involved with the local community and the WNY Tech Academy.  We got to chatting about leadership and why it’s so important.  Ashley then presented six very important questions to me, which I thought would be a great topic for the #CJJblog this week.  Here are those six questions and my responses below.  Enjoy.

  • How do you communicate adjustments during the game?  1) Be prepared.  Practice any possible adjustments so your team is not caught off guard, 2) Remind your team of that.  “We practiced this” can be very calming, and 3) Don’t overload. Max two adjustments (one offensive and one defensive) per timeout/discussion.
  • How do you know you have your team prepared?  1) Work on fundamentals every day, 2) Get 1% better every day, and 3) When working on things or adding to your process, sell your team on why this is being done.
  • How do you help your players become better leaders?  1) As a coach, lead by example every day, 2) Have weekly captain (and 1-on-1 meetings), and 3) Be public with your praise of individuals exemplifying good leadership qualities.
  • How do you lead a less talented team?  1) Measure improvements closely, 2) Be very celebratory with improvements and small victories, and 3) Build strong relationships
  • How does a coach continue to grow?  1) Study your sport continuously, 2) Be intentional with your own growth, and 3) Study leadership and how to build a team.
  • How do you choose a mentor?  1) Someone you respect because they have similar values as you, 2) Someone you can build a relationship with, and 3) Someone who has credibility in your field, and you can learn from.  Make sure when meeting with your mentor, you are prepared with questions and topics of discussion.

Did You Know?  Here is a testimonial from Ashley Zahn: “Our students truly enjoyed our experience with Jim Johnson.  Jim gave the students a purpose and showed the true potential they have as people through his thoughtful insight.  The students left with valuable knowledge and a real-life inspirational story they will never forget.  The WNY Tech Academy can’t thank Jim enough for his time!”

Life Tip #25:  Always lead by example

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