Monday, November 24, 2008

Leadership from the Players

As part of the sport's analogy series I want to continue this week by giving a little more background information about myself and my start with this organization. I have been an athlete nearly my entire life. I have played on numerous basketball, football, and even baseball teams throughout my career. On those teams I found a way to become a leader as a captain of nearly every team that I have been apart of. The hard work that I put into athletics, and lets not forget academics, allowed me to earn and accept a full-scholarship to Northwestern University as a member of the football team. Due to a career ending injury I was unable to display my athletic ability on the football field at Northwestern, but I am able to continue to display my leadership ability in the field of Social Service!
When I came for my interview for the head coaching job at Cabrini Connections, the General Manager of the Team (Mr. Dan Bassill) expressed to me "how the work Cabrini Connections does is similar to the work of a football team, and the role of the leader was like that of a head coach." Mr. Bassill showed me the diagrams that he created, which are the playbook/blueprint if you will, and how if the various team member (volunteers, donors, kids, and staff) was taught and followed this playbook, then the team would have a great chance on being victorious! Victory would come in the form of great team work to build attendance, participation, skills on the road to a career for students by the age of 25! For this to all take place the G.M. encouraged me to build upon my experiences from athletics (football in particular) and develop and diagram 'plays' and strategies that would help the Cabrini Connections team to be more successful at turning out great players, great coaches, and an overall great team!

This past week I would say that the Cabrini Connections' team got one step closer into turning out those great players that front office and the coaching staff is looking to have. The Cabrini Connections' team is in the process of putting together a Youth Leadership Council who will serve as our youthful captains! The captains will not only have to be the ideal players of the Cabrini Connections' team, these captains will be the voice of the entire student population. Like the captain of any football team, these students who signed up for the panel have worked hard, led by example, familiarized themselves with the playbook, and have and will continue to buy into the overall Cabrini Connections' program.

The coaching staff was looking for 3 captains for Wednesday sessions and 3 captains for Thursday sessions, and in the past two weeks over 12 students have displayed the reasons why they should be the captains of the team. Most were present for sessions, some stood in front of the team and voiced why they should be captains, and some took part in a questions and answer session that was followed by the voting. And their efforts have definitely impressed not only the coaches but also the other players on the team...their peers. And on Wednesday and Thursday of last week the 6 youthful captains that the Head Coach and the Assistant Coach (Chris Warren) were looking for were chosen!

The entire Cabrini Connections' organization and all of the supporters who follow our program will be notified in the near future of who these 6 leaders/captains are who will not only continue to grow and become better players on the team, but will lead other players in the right directions as well all strive for victory. From the coin toss to walk to the locker room, hopefully these captains will follow the leadership and directions of the coaches so that during the game (tutoring sessions) the other players follow their example.

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