I thought I was in The Wizard of Oz. Seminar after seminar, lecture after lecture, reading after reading with no air of reality. I never once heard the A-word. No one said it, no one taught it, no one wrote it.
I earned my Masterâ€™s degree in education, majoring in leadership, as an adult learner. When I enrolled, my attitude was jaded. I had been a police officer for 15 years and quit. I had already been a football coach for over two decades. And I had finished my first decade as a college professor/program coordinator. I was a cynic and a skeptic, unconvinced that a graduate degree would teach me more about real-life leadership than life experience.
Every leadership position Iâ€™ve held involved hell. Hell routinely broke loose on every team I was chosen to lead. Real-life taught me that true leadership is the skill of rescuing teams from hell and preventing their return to hell. Getting out of hell and staying out of hell is at the top of a leaderâ€™s job description. But not one course in my Masterâ€™s degree studies was called Hell-Management: Leadership 101 or Fighting Hell: Basic Leadership Principles or Teams from Hell: Advanced Leadership.
The number-one cause of hell breaking loose on any team in any field is the A-word â€“ Apathy. No course in my masterâ€™s degree studies was called Apathy: the killer of any team anywhere or Apathy: the leader killer or Apathy: Zero interest, zero effort.
Apathy is the number-one challenge I have faced in every leadership position Iâ€™ve held.Â Apathy is the same as affordable mortgages and loans â€“ low interest or zero interest. In street-talk, apathy is not giving a shit about yourself, your team, your job, or any other responsibility associated with high-performance, success, winning or any other buzzwords and hashtags that sound pretty and attract 21st Century attention.
If you want to be boss of something someday, be prepared. Train hard. Apathy is both a silent killer and a loud killer of teams and leaders. Left unchecked, apathy will carve out your soul and your teamâ€™s soul. The worst part of apathy is the waste of potential by healthy adolescents and adults. The good news is there is a solution but it isnâ€™t easy. Changing apathy takes leadership. Apathy will not go away without a fight. Leadership is more than a title on pretty business cards, more than the shiny new plate on the corner office door, more than the spotlight, and more that being called boss. Leading any team requires heavy lifting. Thereâ€™s a fight that has to be waged against the biggest enemy, apathy, that left unchecked, will destroy any team in any field.
X Fitness is dedicated to fighting apathy. Jordan Publications is dedicated to fighting apathy. Niagara X-Men football is dedicated to fighting apathy. Blunt Talk Podcast is dedicated to fighting apathy. In an upcoming episode of my Podcast, I declare war again against apathy just I have in the past. Every book and blog I write is dedicated to fighting apathy. Every video and every documentary we produce will be dedicated to the fight.
This is the start of another movement that Blunt Talk Podcast, X Fitness, Jordan Publications, and Niagara X-Men football are committed to advancing forward.
Blessings and all good things.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Natâ€™l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach â€“ Niagara X-Men Football
Owner â€“ X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca