I am sure the word “leader” is spoken thousands of times each day, but it seems to me that few really understand what the word means and what it takes to be one. Webster defines a leader as someone who guides or is a conductor, a person who directs a military force or unit, or a person who has commanding authority or influence. Let’s face it, a person can be put into a leadership position for a variety for reasons, but it takes a mix of attributes to be a successful leader. Passion, discipline and determination are just some of these.
My experience is that a true leader must earn the title. It cannot be just given to him or her. They must be the first one to work and the last one to leave. They need to take part in the plan of action and not just sit back and observe. A leader inspires their team. A leader takes the team beyond their talent level. A leader inspires the team to do what others say cannot be done, just like the famous flying teams called the Blue Angels do. Leaders never say they are perfect but always strive to have themselves and their teams get better. A leader must be consistent. A leader must never stop learning no matter how much success the team has achieved. A leader must listen to the team and make the team feel free to voice their opinions even though they may not agree with the opinion of the leader. A leader must be able to give confidence to the team.
IMG Academy has earned the reputation as being the best of the best because of this type of leadership. We will never say we have done it all. We are always striving to get a little bit better every day in all that we do. We are a team. Would you like to be a member of my team?
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In 1978 Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now known as IMG Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school. He has coached 10 World No. 1 players including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Venus and Serena Williams, Boris Becker and Maria Sharapova. Along with his success as a coach, he has received countless honors, among them induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, United States Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year award and the ITF Lifetime Achievement Award. Bollettieri is widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the sport’s history.