FORMER PRO ATHLETE, AUTHOR & MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Are you looking for an inspiring speaker for you next event? Ed Smith is available for speaking engagements both nationally and internationally to audiences including youth, young adults, and business executives looking to improve their lives and performance. Feel free to reach out with questions or interest regarding your event, messaging, and availability.
Great organizations are defined by executive leadership. Early in my professional sports career, I believed it was purely by the athletic talent on the field that ultimately dictated success. Through years of life experiences, I realize how invaluable members of the front office really are in contributing to our success. Their work is often behind the scenes and even more so, the great ones don’t seek the limelight. The glory comes with the environment these leaders created and significantly contributed to the success of the team.
- Identify, develop and trust your talent
- Build loyal leaders from within: Inspire and motivate your executive leaders
- Create specific objectives in line with the vision of the organization
- Empower your leaders
- Create a balance within your organization by delegating responsibilities
To achieve success as an organization, it is imperative to build a team of quality members who share in a common goal/vision. As a member of the 1998 NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons I experienced one of the greatest single season unifications of the organization. A coaching staff and roster of 53 men came together to achieve success beyond our wildest dreams. The season was not without its share of controversy and adversity; sticking together and working as a cohesive unit helped us overcome those challenges.
How did the Atlanta Falcons transform into the High Flying Dirty Birds? I would like to share that experience with you.
- Attention to detail: know your role, assignments and execute – there are no small roles
- Commitment to the cause by each individual
- Effective and collaborative communication between staff and players
- A ‘We’ not ‘Me’ mentality
- Looking out for your team members: “I am my brother’s keeper”
One of the many characteristics that describe great leaders is the ability to establish a clear vision and sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly. As a professional athlete, I had the good fortune of following some great leaders. The line that separates a strong and effective leader from an ineffective one comes down to simple qualities.
- Elevate each team member to achieve and put forth their best
- Value each team member and encourage creative and effective input
- Communicate clearly and fairly when it comes to redirecting and discipline
- Encourage individuality in your team members; one size does not fit all
- Learn tools and resources to eliminate the office politics
- Earn respect, not fear