All eyes were on Philip for most of his athletic career. On the field, Philip executed and set an example for his teammates surrounding him. Philip had a profound impact on others throughout his life, and not just through his athletic efforts. People looked to Philip because of who he was off the field as well. It was clear he valued charity, compassion, mentorship, honesty, hard work, faith and leadership.
Philip excelled at being a leader, and through his life, he changed many lives. In the 43 Lessons to Legacy curriculum, “Leader” is lesson 37.
A leader is defined as the person who leads or commands a group, organization or country. In 43 Lessons to Legacy, Guz Malzahn shares how Philip was a leader on the Auburn Football Team. Philip led by example, a fact that both his coaches and teammates noted. Through his efforts both on and off the field, he became Auburn’s leading receiver and one of the most popular Auburn players of all time.
Malzahn says that good leadership begins with good character and that a call to leadership is a call to service. He gives the lesson that to become a leader, we must learn from the leaders in our own lives so that we can develop strong leadership skills.
Leadership means standing up for others, guiding others towards success, listening and working together for a common goal. This is what Philip did. Philip led by making sacrifices, and he inspired others to perform their best through guidance.
Leadership is something we should all strive for in life. Whether on or off the field, we can lead. For us to become better leaders, we must appreciate and understand the many ways people view and act on leadership. As Malzahn said, we must learn from leaders to develop our own leadership.
Business News Daily defines leadership through a series of traits. In her article on the subject, Jennifer Post compiled a list of leadership definitions from inspirational and well-known leaders in society. The leaders she asked defined leadership as the pursuit of bettering your environment. Leadership is knowing your team and yourself well and giving people the tools to succeed. Leadership is being an open, authentic and positive influence. Leadership is about listening, inspiring and empowering.
Shane House wrote on leadership from his perception as a sports fan. House said that confidence is what best prepares a person to become a leader. He went on to say that leaders can show their team they can do anything and they are the ones who perform in the clutch moments. Philip is remembered as this kind of player. No one could forget his winning touchdown in the 2010 Iron Bowl game and the reaction that followed. This play, along with many others, showed the confidence he held that made him a leader.
House finished by stating, “That is what a leader does. He makes people better while leading by example, and that example is playing with class, heart and a determination that inspires people to rise up and better themselves, both as a player, and as a human being.”
These qualities from the multiple views on leadership stem from the ability of an individual to establish a following among others. Philip established that following. We can learn to how to lead from these leaders and by the example Philip set before us.