Leadership: Through the eyes of a referee

Guidance
• Understand the rules and keep updated: The rules change often, work at keeping up.
• Documentation is key. Check and track the important milestones, including results, reward and discipline.
• Be decisive: Actively take decisions throughout the game. We are not here for popular sponsorships or cheering crowds. The only cheer that matters are from friends and family.
• Results matter, but the integrity of the results matter even more.

Competence
• Own your turf and take time to know the players.
• Be on time, be fit and be dressed for the role.
• Trust the team and communicate same throughout the game.
• Learn from those that walked this turf before and engage them often.
• Learn international languages. It offers more games and better flexibility.

Culture
• Be present.
• Understand that time is defined, but can be extended. It is longest when there are issues.
• We can neither control the crowd nor officiate to their cheers and/or boos.
• Listen and promote people to speak up. Guiding quote: Leaders who do not listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say – Andy Stanley.
• My leadership belief: I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers – Ralph Nader.

Character
• Be consistent. Guiding quote: In consistency lies power. Inconsistency lies – Shawn Kostiuk.
• Be courageous: Even if it means giving a red card to an unruly coach. We have to set 360o boundaries. Conflict has its uses.
• Use time of rest to rest and reflect. Assess the first half at half time and the whole game at the end of the game. It will prepare us better for the next game.
• Technology is an ally. It aids but does not replace judgment.
• Never forget the purpose of the game: Freedom.

Grow
• Use the simple tools. Referees still use the whistle.
• There are peaks (wins) and valleys (losses), even in a draw.
• There will be mistakes: Learn from them and move on fast, as the game is still on.
• Housekeeping: A clean turf promotes better play.
• Use inertia to your advantage: Try not to stop the game at every foul, tackle, mistake or error.

– Osasu Oviawe

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