True leaders must have what I call the VIP aspects of leadership in order to succeed.

First of all, they must have a VISION for what they are doing, as well as the direction for the program that they are supervising.

There is a Jewish proverb that says “Without a vision, the people will perish,” and I firmly believe this to be true.  One way that I have incorporated this aspect of leadership is upgrading our locker rooms.

When I took over as the Athletic Director at Capistrano Valley Christian on July 1, 2007, the kids did not use the locker rooms.  As I began to probe the students about this, I quickly found out that they didn’t use the locker rooms because they had no pride in them.  And it was easy to see why.  Drab brown tile floor, bare white walls, and broken down lockers.

I had a vision to make that locker room more attractive with some simple steps including paint, custom carpets, new lockers, and benches.

Custom carpets helped to create a whole new feel to this locker room. I bought four of them.



The next essential aspect of leadership is IMPLEMENTATION.

It would have meant nothing to the student-athletes if this vision of a locker room stayed in my head and on the drawing board.  This would not have made the locker room appealing.  A leader must not only be able to cast a vision, but they must implement their vision.  This is an important step that not all leaders are capable of doing – putting feet to the legs of their vision.

The way I did it with the locker room was found a father who was a professional painter who donated his services to paint 12 inch thick stripes of our school colors across the top and around the entire room; bought large custom-made carpets to cover the worn out orange tile, and had our logo sewn in to them; purchased new lockers and benches.  When the students came back to school after the summer, they were thrilled to see a new locker room, and the football team immediately took ownership of it.  They had pride in the locker room instantaneously.  I also helped to bring new glass backboards to the gym with vision and implementation.  We had had old wood backboards on the side.  For whatever reason, the Athletic Directors before me had not thought that glass backboards would dramatically change the look and feel of the gym; I did.

Just two simple new paint stripes, a few benches and new lockers really changed this place.
Just two simple new paint stripes, a few benches and new lockers really changed this place.

The third essential aspect of leadership is PEOPLE.

A leader has got to know his people.  Leaders must be able to have the pulse of those they are leading, and this only happens through relationships.  Effective leaders develop strong relationships with those they are leading through a variety of means.  Your vision may not be the vision of your people.  They may never by in to your vision as a leader if you don’t have that relationship with them.  Obviously, you will need your people to help with the implementation of your vision.  Again, without strong relationships, the implementation part may be difficult to pull off if your people aren’t on board with you.


Do you have vision for your program?  Are you implementing it?  Do you truly know your people?