Is friendship a leadership quality? Learn how the values of friendship can inspire leaders and help build team cohesion.
Today’s topic is friendship. In this post, the Lazy Leader concludes a short leadership series influenced by the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics.
The Olympics is a great spectacle of human endeavour. With over 10,000 athletes—Olympians—from around the world training for years to have the opportunity to represent their nation.
The Olympic values are:
- Striving for excellence,
- Demonstrating respect, and finally
- Celebrating friendship.
Let’s consider the third value: Celebrating friendship.
In 2003 British athlete Dwain Chambers tested positive for banned substances. He received a two-year athletics ban for cheating by using the anabolic steroid THG. He also received a life-time Olympics ban that was lifted in 2012.
But this post isn't about Chambers. Instead, I want to focus on Christian Malcolm's qualities and his remarkable friendship with Chambers. And I ask: what can leaders learn from this?
Friendship is the relationship between friends. Friends care for one another, yet Malcolm paid dearly for Chamber’s cheating. He had his 2003 4×100 m relay silver medal taken away. But he stood by his friend.
According to Wikipedia, friends share the following values:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other’s company
- Trust in one another
- Positive reciprocity: a relationship based on equal give-and-take between the two parties
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement