Leadership. What does Leadership really mean? Leadership can be defined as such, "A process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Alan Keith of Genentech was quoted as saying, "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen".
With that being said, I wonder what kind of leader the Golden State Warriors now have in Monta Ellis with Stephen Jackson gone from his side. He is of course, the obvious choice to step up as the new voice, heart and soul of this young franchise. But is he really a leader? After reading Marcus Thompson's interview with Monta Ellis following the Stephen Jackson trade on Monday, November 16th and reflecting on the definition of leadership, it is apparent that Monta is not quite the leader that I thought he ought to be. Read the tid bits from the article that I copied and pasted from the Contra Costa Times below:
How tough will it be to lose one of your best players?
Monta: “It was tough when we had him. (laughs) Losing him, it’s going to be tough. But we’ve got to find a way to get through it, man. I wish him the best. Now, it’s on us. That’s what they wanted, so they got it.”
Will you have to do more to make up for the loss?
Monta: “I’m not (going to) put no more on my back. Somebody else gonna have to step up. I’m not gonna do more, somebody else gonna have to step up and take on the role that Jack had and be that player. But I’m not putting no more extra on my back.”
Do you feel a need to be more vocal?
Monta: “Nope. Uh, uh. Not at all”
What do you guys lose with Jack gone?
Monta: “No. 1, besides his scoring and the ability to make the extra pass. What we’ve been emphasizing the whole time is defense. That’s one of our best defenders on the team. And we’re trying to get better as a defensive team. And now, who we got now that’s going to play defense? We got me. And who else?”
Raja Bell is a good defender
Monta: “I don’t know too much about dude. I mean (pause) it’s crazy, man.”
Jack was your best friend on the team. Will you bond with another teammate?
Monta: “I’m close to all my teammates. I’m still gonna do what we do. We’re going to hang out the way we’ve been hanging out. It ain’t going to be no different. We lost one of our close friends. That’s it. But, hey, life goes on. I’mma talk to him every day. He’s going to talk to me every day. Still going to be like he’s here. So I’m not tripping. Like I said, as long as he’s happy, I’m happy.”
So you’re happy. OK. Cool.
Monta: “I’m happy that he’s happy, yeah.”
But you’re not happy?
Monta: Yeah. I just said I’m happy that he’s happy. (Laughs)
What’s going to be the key going forward?
Monta: “Our young guys gotta pay more attention and learn the game more. They probably need to watch more film and sit back and really evaluate the game more, and better.”
--- End of Interview ------
Monta is a gifted offensive player and he can definitely put up points when the team needs it. He is an exciting player to watch and is just going to continue to grow and expand his game. He has the skills to be a great player but he is missing some of the intangible qualities that could transform him into a complete franchise player.
Determination, dedication, great attitude and outstanding work ethics are the intangibles that separates the great athletes from the good ones. Leadership is about capacity: the capacity of leaders to use their skills, expertise, intangible qualities as a starting point to encourage all, to establish a winning culture and light up the competitive flame of each and every player. Leadership is about setting and not about your personal agendas. It's about identifying the problems, and initiating change that makes for substantive improvement rather than managing change.