Leadership and Coach Norman Dale

There are several leadership styles represented in the film “Hoosiers.” This movie brings two different concepts called transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership styles are more concerned with maintaining the normal flow of operations, whereas a transformational leader goes beyond managing the daily tasks for leading their followers to success. Transactional leadership styles also include trying to establish direction, aligning people, they are dedicated to communication, creating teams, motivation, and inspiration. Transformational leadership styles basically turn towards to creating the agenda and requests, they are dedicated to planning, policies and procedures. The leader’s job is always to adapt their leadership style to the different situations they come into contact with. A manager is meant to guide all workers/followers to make the right decisions in order to accomplish a certain task. The leadership styles used in “Hoosiers” are: legitimate, transactional, transformational, autocratic, democratic, reward power, expert and referent power. The primary leader in this film is Coach Norman Dale.
Coach Norman Dale is given the position of the new basketball high school coach in a small town in Indiana. This automatically gives him legitimate power because he has a known title in the town. It gives him authority in team organization and therefore the authority role in this community. As a leader, Coach Dale does a good job of adjusting his leadership style to the different situations that he is required to adapt to. He shows the characteristics of both, a transactional and a transformational leader.

He is a transactional leader because he uses disciplinary power to motivate and encourage his team to perform at their best and to give the best of theirselves. However, he is also a transformational leader because he mainly focuses on team building and motivational activities with his players. It is important to note that Coach Dale does not possess every trait as a transactional leader. Although, he uses disciplinary strategies to prove his point, he does not care what consequences he may receive for causing the boys to lose their first game.
It was important to show team his point and teach the boys to listen and comply. In the beginning of the film Coach Norman Dale demonstrates the autocratic leadership style. In this part of the movie he leads with a firm hand, for example, when he kicked a player out of their first practice for not cooperating with him. Meanwhile, towards the end of the film he is seen using the democratic leadership style. He begins to not trust his leadership ability when the members of community are voting him out of the school. Also towards the end of the film he begins to display referent power when the uncooperative player punches an opposing player who was talking down to his coach. The main followers in this film represent the actual players on the high school basketball team. The situation in the team is difficult for a number of reasons, but the main reason is the shortage of players.
Consequently, the players on the team lacked self-confidence and that represents the major problem in the team functioning. For example, character named Ollie was forced to ditch his role as manager and to become a part of the team. When coach puts him on the court, Ollie is faced with the pressure of making free throws. He displays lazzies affaire leadership style because he’s unsure of his ability to make this shot and lead the team to victory.
After words from his coach, Norman Dale, he is flushed with self-confidence and pulls through for his team. Another way that Coach Norman Dale encouraged confidence in his followers was by keeping them focused on their present task and familiarizing each one of them with their particular job on the court. It is important to mention some of the characters such as Jimmy, the shooter, and the teacher (Myra Fleeter). Jimmy is one of the best players in the team but he rejects to play with new coach. Therefore, coach needs to find a way to bring him back to the team. He uses reverse psychology in the situation when he explains Jimmy that “team is all of them, not just him”. Here coach shows expert power because he uses prior knowledge probably from previous situations in his life. When we talk about “the shooter” and his relationship with the coach, we can say that coach chooses the shooter for his assistant for several reasons.
Firs of all, the shooter knows a lot about basketball so he shows the expert power. Also, Coach Dale gives him another chance because “people deserve another chance”. Also, some other people have previously put their trust in him by giving him, Coach Dale, a second chance. In the case of Myra Fleener, it can be said that she displays a very autocratic leadership style. She attempts to lead Coach Norman Dale with a firm hand with very little input. She pretends to ignore and put off what the coach has to say, but towards the end of the film she takes Norman’s side and adjusts her leadership style to a more democratic view. She agrees with the coach that Jimmy should again join the basketball team.
The environment Coach Norman Dale was put in when taking the job of the basketball coach in a small hick town played a role in his success. Some of the environmental factors he was faced with were the religiousness of the sport, the unwilling to change members of community, and the circumstance that Hickory was a small town in Indiana. Coach Norman Dale was forced to show the town how tough and assertive he could be when someone was disrupting his ways of teaching. Coach Dale was placed in a very unstructured environment because he was given a limited number of team players, a limited number of supporters, and a small town to provide his expertise. Although put in this awful situation, he created a structure and explained to his followers how things needed to be done and the processes they were going to use to get those things done. You can also read about relationship between power and leadership
When comparing Hoosiers with the other film shown in this class, Hoosiers stands out mainly because it introduces two new leadership styles that were not displayed in the other film. Both, transactional leadership and transformational leadership are required for guiding an organization or work group to success, which is the main reason Norman Dale was such a successful basketball coach. Also, he was faced with many barriers, such as tradition, lack of discipline, unfair judgments, and lack of trust. He showed to be an amazing leader because he was able to lead in a way that suited every individual person in the film Hoosiers. He demonstrated how much impact leadership can have on even the smallest group of people. More important, he shows how is possible to change according to the environment and needs of the people with whom you work. He also represents that one can depart from his erroneous beliefs, if the opposite way of working, showing the correct. It can be inferred that learning from experience, positive or negative, represents one of the key characteristics of good leadership.

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