Leadership, pt. 2 by Earnest Byner
Earnest Byner wrote his second blog article for Pro Interviews. EB has 27 years experience in the NFL, both as a player and as a coach. He continues his first blog article about Leadership and discusses how he was a leader on the football field as a running back. He has been an RB coach for numerous teams, and he has been vey successful. He wrote this follow-up blog before the 2011 NFL season.
I mentioned that Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) and Ahmard Hall (Tennessee Titans) were driven and wanted to be the best. In no way was I suggesting that that they needed a push. They are good men of the game in all ways, but as with all players, they need and deserve coaching.
In all of the rooms that I have been in charge of and in those that I have assisted in, leadership from each position was and will continue to be one of the main ingredients for a team’s success. Jim Brown said, “the running back position is the premier position in football.” I believe that this still holds true today. The running back position shouts out leadership.
We all know that whomever is at the top of an organization is the Leader of organization. He or she is the tone-setter for the entire team or organization. The buck stops there. We also know that the people hired by the organization have to take the leader’s message and share it with players that they are responsible for.
With that said, on a football team there are certain areas that are considered sacred. One place is the locker room. I have walked into a bunch of them as a player, coach, and administrator. I can tell you that as one of the latter two, when I do walk in, the players sometimes make this siren sound. Some of it is in jest, but some of it is distrust. Even I felt both of those as a player as well, but I know that we are all ultimately working for the same reasons. Winning! I will always be comfortable in there because it’s my background, but I know it is considered hallow ground.
What are you saying EB? I am telling you that players have more influence over other players than you can imagine. That is why if you have a bad seed in the locker room and if things are not going well, the bad seed can end up killing the team. On another level, if you have good leaders, and if things in the locker room start to go wrong, then the leaders will be there to help keep the locker room focused on the winning ways.
If you watch some highlight tapes or listen to stories that are told, you hear about times where things could have gone in a completely different direction, but someone stood in the gap. This, my friend, is an example of someone being the leader within the locker room.
As I have said before, good leadership can be a team saver.
Here we go baby!