I went to the footy at the MCG on Saturday. And while I enjoyed my Tigers getting a win over their arch rival, the Blues, I found myself enchanted by the tactics of the opposition’s diminutive coach, Brendon Bolton.
Bolton is know for being a “teaching coach” with a knack for great communication and being able to get the best out of people, especially young men.
With the match in the balance at three-quarter time, you’d expect to see the usual scene – an agitated coach shouting at his players, assembled in a tight clump, in order to fire them up to break bodies and overrun their opponents. Not Bolton.
- There are no powerful positions in a circle, meaning an implication of shared responsibility and leadership.
- There’s nowhere to hide. You are compelled to make eye contact and to pay attention.
- There’s no dominant leader. Bolton is only distunguishable by his polo shirt over the others’ playing guernsey.
- Circles are about participant engagement and not the feelings or desires of the person delivering message. In the end, this is about the players and not Bolton … and Bolton knows it.
Bolton is a great leader of learning not because he’s skilled in ancient learning methodologies or because he’s standing on the shoulders of giants. His experise is borne of questioning, challenging and changing every educative tradition. That’s a leader of learning.