In the Fall semester of college once, our basketball team coach was enamored with a player who wasn’t even eligible to play yet. The player had a rep for being a smooth talker, and the coach was of the mind that the team was set to take off as soon as this one payer started suiting up.
He even named the guy a team captain when the player wasn’t even eligible to play. When this guy did become eligible, he stripped the captaincy from a player who had been playing all along and handed it to this now-eligible guy. Depending on specifics of the situation, this is not an abnormal thing on the surface.
Problem: no one on the team respected this new captain. And the coach was so colorblind to this fact, he pretty much destroyed any chance at team chemistry by naming him captain. It wasn’t long before the player and the coach were at each other’s neck, arguing during games, practices and everywhere else. We all saw it coming.
You may be somewhere in your sports or work life right now where someone has a leadership position they didn’t earn or aren’t worthy of. It’s not fair at all. Get used to that. Things are never fair. You are not aiming for fairness — you’re aiming to get the unfairness benefitting you instead of bothering you.
Just know that any weak leader will face the firing squad sooner or later. Your job is to be ready to fill the void when it comes open. And start leading now, right where you stand.
Titles don’t make leaders. Actions, discipline, consistency and respect make leaders. If you lack any of the aforementioned you are not a leader. If no one listens to you, you’re not leading. If you have to announce that you’re leading, you’re not a leader. If someone must give you the position, you’re not leading.
Don’t fool yourself. And don’t be fooled.