What is a good description of what a team captain does? What about a leader? This is for the National Honor Society application.  

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The four pillars of the National Honor Society are scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Individual chapters are welcome to set their own standards as to what activities demonstrate a commitment to leadership. A team captain has an important leadership role that exhibits dedication, perseverance, and responsibility. If you have experience...

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The four pillars of the National Honor Society are scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Individual chapters are welcome to set their own standards as to what activities demonstrate a commitment to leadership. A team captain has an important leadership role that exhibits dedication, perseverance, and responsibility. If you have experience as a team captain, keep up the great work!

As you organize your thoughts for your short essay on leadership, don’t limit the question to whether or not you are a leader; instead, consider what kind of leader you are. What do you value in a team? What qualities do you have that make your team better? What do you value in a leader? What qualities does an important leader in your life have that inspire you to be better? Anyone can be a leader, but there are plenty of leaders who aren’t especially good at it. What makes someone a good leader?

Social psychologist Kurt Lewin theorized that there are three main types of leaders: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Autocratic leaders have all of the control and make most or all of the decisions for their team. Democratic leaders encourage team members to participate in decision making. Laissez-faire leaders don’t really interfere with the process, but they support the autonomy of each team member to make their own decisions.

It may seem obvious that autocratic leadership is not going to win many World’s Best Team Captain awards, but it, like the others, can be appropriate in context. A common example is an emergency situation where a tour group becomes lost. A democratic leader may call for a vote and end up without a consensus or a plan. A laissez-faire leader may allow the group to split up and go wherever they think is best, which could be dangerous. An autocratic leader who knows the proper procedures may be the best option to lead the group to safety.

You do not have to write about what type of leader you are quite so literally, but it could be helpful to think about which of these leadership types would work best for your team. You might remember a scenario you could write about that exemplifies your leadership in action. You might find that you could improve upon your style of leadership. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to explore a situation you think you could have handled better. A good leader gives constructive criticism, and they are equally able to receive it.

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A team captain is the leader of a team.  A good team captain leads through his words and his actions.  But most importantly, a good team captain is a good motivator.  

For the teams that I coach, I almost never pick the best player on the team to be the team captain.  There is no reason the best player can't be the team captain, but in my experience, the best players on the team aren't always the best motivators.  A good team captain is the person on the team that day in and day out is the hardest worker on the team.  They lead through example and work ethic. Not talent.  The team captain also needs to be an individual that the rest of the team respects.  This is because a coach expects the team captains to "call players out" when they are under performing.  That won't work if the captain isn't a respected teammate.   

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