The Power of Leadership

Gus - Worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of leadership in all forms. Leadership has many different faces. It can come from the longest tenured member of a team or from the newest. Throughout my four years of playing high school sports I have learned a lot about leadership. I learned how to be a silent captain and I learned how to be a vocal leader. I learned this not from only upperclassmen or coaches, but from everybody on the field with me.

There we were, staring down the Brooks School’s offense trying to prevent them from driving down the field to score the game-winning touchdown. All of the hard work put in over the off-season and all of the late practices and early film sessions came down to one drive. They seemed to move the ball down the field with ease, there was nothing we could do to stop them. They basically walked through us on the way to the end zone. The point after would tie it, and a two-point conversion would win it for them. They lined up to go for the two point conversion and upon seeing this we needed a time-out in order to prepare for this game-deciding play. Nothing was said while Coach Sullivan spoke and nothing was said as we walked back onto the field. Then, Cherron, our best player, who hadn’t left the field the entire game, began to run out to the line of scrimmage. The message he gave with his actions was heard loud and clear. If Cherron had something left then we all can give it our all for the last play of the game.

“Set…Go!” Before I knew it, the play started. It was a run directly at me, I filled the hole in front of me as fast as I could, and I tackled the first man to come through. Dazed from the helmet-to-helmet hit, I stayed down on the ground. I realized at this moment that I had tackled the wrong guy. Somehow this was comforting. I knew that since I had done my job, everybody else had done his, and sure enough, as I looked to my left, I saw Cherron tackling the kid who did have the ball. The running back hit the ground and the celebration began.

I believe there are really only two types of people in the world, followers and leaders. Leadership is a trait that people are born with. It can be brought out by events like a football game but it cannot be taught. Some people can talk a good game, yell and scream all they want, but nobody will follow. Other people won’t say a word, but their actions will speak far louder than anything ever said in church, classroom, huddle, or locker room. This is why I believe in the power of leadership.