Authentic leadership approach in sports teams


I want to go through a critical thinking approach in exploring the authentic leadership approach in sports teams.  Lets first get an understanding of what Authentic leadership approach is and then go through the critical thinking lens of this within sports team.

Authentic leadership approach is defined as “a pattern of leader behavior that draws upon and promotes both positive psychological capacities and a  positive  ethical  climate,  to  foster  greater  self-awareness,  an  internalized  moral  perspective,  balanced  processing  of  information,  and  relational  transparency  on  the  part  of  leaders  working  with  followers,  fostering  positive  self-development”  (Walumbwa  et  al.,  2008,  p.  94). Furthermore, Authentic leaders are “believed to be genuine and open through acting in ways consistent with their innermost values, and as such they are perceived as credible leaders” (Avolio et al., 2004). Now that the we have set some stage to the definition of authentic leadership and perception of authentic leaders we can now talk about authentic leadership in sports teams.

Authentic leadership in sports teams may influence the enjoyment and commitment of the players.  These 2 traits are important in sports because through enjoyment players are eager to play and through commitment they will have passion while playing. I believe also authentic leaders in sport teams will possess a high level of honesty and communication with the players hence making them open up and wanting to part of these social groups dynamics of leadership and followership and share this bond. Also, as I have also stated many times previously, one of the goals for coaching in sport is to develop the players’ full potential on and off the pitch and to be a role model. I believe players will look up to the authentic leaders as role models and hence they will hopefully improve in their potential and as humans, depending on the authentic leader’s traits and attributes, there is always a good and bad side to every leaders.

In the long run authentic leadership approach will have great impact on sports team, both in player development and player engagement and unlocking of potential. I also believe with the positives there will be a few negative one main negative that might occur could be the reverse a frustration of mentality, since an authentic leader will not be beating behind the bush to say they think it could cause issue with more experienced players. In my opinion experienced players will not really need coaching advice but more advice on being role models. It was said by José Mourinho “Experienced and professional players do not need me to tell them what to do, they just need to play their game.” I believe that he is correct and this could be one way that the clash of heads could be avoided.



2: Walumbwa  et  al.,  2008

3: Avolio et al., 2004


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