"The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.”
Leadership. It's a bold word. We hear it countless times throughout our day-to-day lives, but how often do we actually stop and think about the meaning behind it? What exactly are the true characteristics of a leader? Better yet, how does leadership function in the lacrosse landscape? Trilogy National Directors and ICE coaches Ryan Boyle, Mitch Belisle, and Matt Streibel discuss what leadership means to them.
- My parents and family – there are a lot of them (I am one of six children) so it depends on the situation.
- My girlfriend Ari.
- My best friend and business partner Robert Lindsey.
- My close-knit circle of friends from home, college, and work.
- Try to make my teammates better by pushing them to their personal limits while also instilling confidence through preparation and hard work.
- Being non-judgmental when it comes to their personal life and things outside of their individual control.
- Treating each one uniquely since we have all our own weird ticks, motivations, and scars.
- Loyalty – on and off the field, my teammates must know that I have their back and will take their side if they are pressed into a difficult situation
- Rich Belisle (My dad)
- Jeff Tambroni (Penn State Head Coach – former coach at Cornell University)
- Dan Dawson (Rochester Knighthawks Captain – former teammate on the Boston Blazers) Jimmy Vlahakis (Trilogy Lacrosse President)
- I work as hard as anyone
- I am relentless in my pursuit of my goals and my energy
- I am someone who can be counted on and trusted on and off the field.
- Lead by example and truly embody these characteristics every day
- Share these goals and feelings with other leaders on the team to ensure we are aligned when promoting these messages to the rest of the team
- Hold players accountable when they don’t meet these standards
- Set personal goals for myself in terms of the above and address them each month
- Knowledge can be born of experience (you’ve been around long enough you’ve seen everything) or intelligence (you’ve studied enough you’ve learned everything), but usually stems from some combination of both. You’ve been around long enough to have learned all there is to learn. I’ve never followed anyone who doesn’t know more than me. Why would I? Every leader I’ve admired has had something to teach me.
- Toughness doesn’t necessarily mean being able to to play through a broken leg. Sometimes it does. Physical toughness means being there for your teammates and colleagues. If you’re injured you can’t play; if you’re hurt, you can play through it. Great leaders play hurt. Great leaders play through pain. Great leaders understand that injuries are often inevitable and can sideline a player, but that bumps and bruises and fatigue and soreness, and every other form of discomfort an individual might encounter while accomplishing hard tasks is merely another obstacle on the path to accomplishing your goals. Second, you have to be in the fight to win the fight. Often mental toughness is more important than the physical version. Mental toughness means being able to run one more mile, do 1 more rep, and complete one more task than the guy next to you. Mental toughness also means knowing how to win. It means not only wanting the ball in your stick at the end of a game, but having the composure, wherewithal and competence to do what is necessary in a pressure-packed situation.
- Commitment: self-explanatory. If you aren’t the most dedicated guy in the room, someone else is. He’s the guy people will turn to. Bottom line.
- Ryan Boyle: I’m not kissing his butt because he’s my boss. He’s the toughest, smartest lacrosse player I’ve ever been on a field with.
- Bill Tierney: He scared the hell out of me. I wanted to do whatever I could to win for him. I would have run through walls if he asked me to—I’m not sure why
- Tony Resch: He understood exactly how to coach me. He never yelled. He just looked me straight in the eyes and told me I could do better. No other coach ever mastered that quite as well as he did
- My wife: She’s brilliant, thoughtful and intense. She cares enough for three people. She sacrifices. She’s generous. She’s tenacious and will fight anybody for what she believes in. She gave birth to our daughter.