During a recent interview at the SEC (Southeastern Conference) Media Days, Kirby Smart, the Head Football Coach at Georgia, read from some small, white pages, emblazed with his own thoughts.
You could tell that these sentiments sat deep within him. You could tell these meant something to him.
The topic: leadership.
“I think anyone can tell you the benefits of great leaders,” Smart said. “Anybody can tell you what it looks like. They can tell you what leadership can do for you. They can tell you how to develop leadership. There are tons of books written on great leaders and leadership.”
Soon after, he said this which really resonated with me.
“But you won’t see, and what you will never see, is people talk about the costs of leadership and costs associated with leadership I should say. If we truly want to be honest and up front about leadership, you can’t ignore the costs of leadership.”
If you have been a leader for any amount of time, you understand what Coach Smart means. The burden can be heavy. I was a Head Football Coach at the high school level for just 8 years, an Athletic Director for 6 years, and the 2023-24 school year will be by fourth year as a High School Principal.
I have felt these costs as a leader. Smart went on to say 3 things about the “cost of leadership.”
You will have to make hard decisions that negatively affect people you care about.
You will be disliked despite your best attempts to do the best for the most.
You will be misunderstood, and won’t always have the opportunity to defend yourself.
Chris Fore has his Masters degree in Athletic Administration, is a Certified Athletic Administrator and currently works as a Principal in Southern California (yes, he went to the “dark side” after 17 years of coaching!) He served as the President of the California Coaches Association for 3 years. Fore is the CEO of Eight Laces Consulting which specializes in helping coaches nationwide in their job search process. Fore has been named to the Hudl Top 100 Coaches, and the Top 5 Best High School Football Coaches to follow on Twitter by MaxPreps. Follow him!