The Big Ten Championship

Key Takeaways:

  • Leaders need to develop skills to apply emotional intelligence before it is needed
  • Discernment is important to help leaders make decisions and adjustments

The 2019 Big Ten Championship game played out like a Hollywood movie plotline: new kid at the school becomes the starting quarterback and leads the team through a historic season that culminates in an epic come-from-behind win for the league championship.

Ohio State’s quarterback Justin Fields showed tremendous leadership as he led his team on a second half comeback, but that wasn’t the only leadership on display.

Let me point out some other examples of elite leadership:

Emotional Intelligence — Coach Ryan Day did a great job rallying the Buckeyes at halftime, motivating his players to an incredible second-half performance. Additionally, you can give Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst credit for getting the Badgers ready at the start of the game. There were also good and bad examples of self-control by the athletes throughout the game.

Discernment — Maybe the best leadership example was Coach Day and staff’s discernment. Discernment has three dimensions: situational awareness, analytical skills and decision making. It is the ability to diagnose the situation, use available information and develop solutions. The Buckeyes’ coaching staff did an incredible job of making halftime adjustments that made a tremendous impact on the game.

There were countless examples of leadership shown in preparation and throughout the game, but these two examples provide important lessons for all leaders.

Leaders need to be constantly improving their emotional intelligence so they can lead their teams effectively. Leaders have to be able to manage their emotions, as well as their respective team’s, in order to get the best performance. They also have to have discernment, and this game showed how important it is to manage the situation to allow for effective problem solving and decision making.

It was a great game (at least for Buckeyes) and provides a great testament to the importance of leadership. Take time to develop your emotional intelligence and discernment.

Photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.