Personal leadership

Leadership is a core competence for physical education teachers and coaches since they are responsible for facilitating social processes in and around their task of teaching or coaching – which both entails leading themselves and leading others.

In 2011, James Scouller presented the Three Levels of Leadership model as a practical tool for developing a person's leadership presence, knowhow and skill - both in relation to a group or individuals in that group, and in relation to the leaders themselves. The model distinguishes between Public, Private and Personal leadership. The idea is that if leaders want to be effective, they must work on all three levels in parallel. Exercising leadership in these three levels helps facilitate the communication and cooperation needed to create an environment of mutual understanding within intercultural settings.

Public leadership refers to the actions or behaviours that leaders take to influence two or more people simultaneously and is directed towards (1) agreeing on a vision; (2) creating an atmosphere of trust and teamwork; and (3) driving successful collective actions and results.

Private leadership concerns the leader's one-to-one handling of individuals in the team. Although leadership involves creating a sense of group unity, groups are composed of individuals who vary in ambitions, confidence, experience and psyche.

Personal leadership addresses the leader's technical, psychological and moral development and its impact on his or her leadership presence, skill and behaviour. It possesses three elements: (1) technical knowhow and skill referring to the leaders weaknesses and his/her ability to update knowledge and skills; (2) the right attitude towards other people; and (3) psychological self-mastery emphasising self-awareness and flexible command of one's mind, enabling leaders to connect more strongly with their values, let their leadership presence flow and act authentically in serving those they lead.

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