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STAMPEDE #4: Notes from the President

STAMPEDE #4 - When Leadership Counts

I am penning this President’s column following a great night at the basketball on Friday.  Both our teams celebrated important wins and showed true grit at this, the business end of the season.  After a four game losing streak it was particularly pleasing to see the women get back to their best.  If they play like that for the rest of the season I am confident they will surprise many in the run up to the finals.  Great on court leadership by Kylie and Kathleen and emerging young leadership from Sharna.   It was so good to see leadership demonstrated at all levels of the club this week - on court and off.

When Dwain Davie stepped in front of the TV cameras this week and said “The buck stops with me.  If the team isn’t winning - its down to me.” I cheered loudly!  What a great demonstration of leadership that was from Dwain.  Many coaches would search for excuses or seek to deflect blame - but he took it on the chin and I think that was a great symbol to his players but also widely to everyone associated with this club.  Its the sort of leadership we need to foster and celebrate around the club.

And then Dwain backed it up with some strong decisions that resulted in a win.  To me that is leadership.

Earlier in the evening on Friday I was thrilled to be invited by Jacqui Onn to address her young Revs in their Rise Above The Rim program developing young leaders around the club and the community. Congratulations to Jacqui and her team for this extraordinary program developing a new generation of leaders in the basketball community.  Together with Stewie, Jacqui invited me to talk about leadership with this group of 12 -15 year olds.  I m not sure I know much about leadership - but I do recognise it when I see it.  Stewie talked about his journey of hard work to the state and national selection.  One of the things I most love about working with Stewie is his understated sense of leadership that he demonstrates every day by determination, hard work, never say die attitude and his ability to inspire others around him to work towards the big picture he paints.  

We need more leadership like that.  And Jacqui Onn, who gives her time to build new leaders and teach them that leadership is not just about on court time but about how you commit to serving others and serving your community. Every single one of those young people came up and shook my hand and looked me in the eye during the night.  Jacqui’s program is doing something good.  That’s leadership and we need more of it around the basketball community. 

And lastly I observed one of our board members work to ensure a young fella - who had experienced some real challenges recently - get the opportunity to meet the players and have a truly extraordinary game night experience.  She didn’t need to do this and she sought no reward or acknowledgement for her efforts. It was simply to demonstrate and live the culture we are trying to build at the Chargers - the Chargers Way, if you like - that sees everyone included and everyone valued.  And through that, everyone gets the opportunity to both give to and get from the Chargers community.  That's leadership and its a great joy to see it at all levels of our club and community.  Its that leadership at all levels that will help us reach our dreams.  As I said to the Rise Above the Rim young people on Friday night - quoting JFK - ask not what your club can do for you but first, what you can do for your club. That’s how we will get where we are going, together.