What is a leader?  Well this question can be answered many different ways.  Leadership can change with whatever situation a person finds themself in.  Leaders can differ from an explorer leading his/her men/women through the jungle, or the captain of a sports team leading their teammates to a championship.  Every leader has a vision and it is that leader’s job to inspire people to make them see that vision as well so they can gain followers.  People expect and rely on certain leaders to take charge and accept success and failure personally.  

In the book, Lord of the Flies by William Golding there seems to be a battle of who is going to become head honcho between the characters Ralph and Jack.  When another character named Piggy finds a conch shell on the island they were stranded on, Ralph blows into the shell and the sound attracts other kids on the island.  “But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch.”(22)  In this scene of the novel, the conch is giving Ralph power and authority.  It also develops a the thought that the best thing for them right now to have is a leader.  In the boys’ heads the conch is setting Ralph apart from everyone else, and this is the reason why Ralph becomes the leader over Jack.  

This same kind of situation can relate to any sports team in a way.  On sports teams there can be one one leader, or several leaders that play different parts on the team.  The role of a locker room leader would be to get everybody pumped and hyped to play the game and make sure everybody is ready.  Where a performance leader would take control during the game and most of the the they want the game to be in their hands.  Or there could just be one leader.  This role brings the most pressure and all depends on how you deal with it.    

In the novel, situations start to come up that test Ralph’s leadership.  A dead pilot has fallen from the sky and as the boys see the body but don’t know what it is.  The minds of the paranoid kids disguise the body to be “the beast.”  The tension of what it could be was eating away at the group, so they all decided to go hunt the so called beast.  The boys were hunting the beast and they decided to stop and reevaluate their decision.  But Ralph took the responsibility of being a leader and told the group that he would go after the beast himself.  When Ralph made the decision to go himself, that really stuck with the group and it showed them that he was being a true leader and taking on that responsibility that comes with taking charge.   

The same concept applies to sports.  No matter what sport it is no matter if it is basketball, baseball, soccer, etc the star player or captain of the team wants to be in the win or lose situation.  They are willing to go into either success or failure situations head on and deal with the outcome no matter what it is.

A true leader takes charge and they know what they want.  They have a goal that they have to accomplish and they inspire people to have that goal as well.  A real leader doesn’t work for him/herself, they always think for the team.  Kobe Bryant once said “The topic of leadership is a touchy one.  A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.  Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.”  You can’t be afraid to take charge and be a leader.  You have to be able to face the consequences that come with being a leader.  If you don’t have what it takes to deal with failure you don’t have what it takes to be a leader.