It’s amazing when you believe. They have believed and believed and believed, and it’s awesome to see. I just want to stare at them celebrating. ~Porter Moser (men’s basketball head coach, Loyola University, Chicago)
I’m typically not an avid sports fan. I look forward to the end of March Madness because well, it feels like never-ending madness. However, when it’s a Chicago team and the underdog, I get hooked. So for the first time I’m following March Madness and the history-making story of the Loyola University Ramblers (and of course Sister Jean!).
What’s kept me hooked on the Ramblers are the multitude of references to leader-like qualities coming from players, commentators, sports writers, and coaches. Here are six examples of the Ramblers demonstrating leadership qualities.
Leadership Quality 1: Unselfish team players
“It doesn’t really matter who it is,” Richardson said on TBS after the game. “We’ve got a ton of guys (who can score). This team is so unselfish that the ball usually finds the hot hand. Tonight, it happened to be me.” [USA TODAY, 3/24/18]
Leadership Quality 2: Listening to a mentor
“More than anything, Majerus emphasized to Moser the importance of creating the right culture, and Moser heeded his mentor’s advice with the right principles and the high-character players he brought in.” [USA TODAY, 3/24/18]
Leadership Quality 3: Confidence, not arrogance
“The number of ‘divine fate’ story lines in relation to Sister Jean have been aplenty with this team’s Cinderella run. But there absolutely is something to make of the way a team’s moxie kicks in when it plays with a confidence as if it’s destined to do something special.” [USA TODAY, 3/24/18]
Leadership Quality 4: They love each other
In interviews following the win that put Loyola into the final four the players said: “…mainly that we love each other…we believed in each other” (Ben Richardson). “We’ve been connected all year and we’ve got so much love for each other” (Donte Ingram).
Leadership Quality 5: Patience and trust
While watching the games I’ve heard the commentators say, repeatedly, “They are very patient and they really trust each other. They wait for the right player to take the shot.”
Leadership Quality 6: Influence
Their “belief” has extended beyond the team; their influence has amassed many new believers, as stated in a USA TODAY headline: Loyola Chicago, team of ‘winners’ bound for Final Four, turns NCAA tournament fans into believers.
Come next weekend, win or lose, the Loyola Ramblers have made their mark in history through real leadership.