Jackie
Robinson is known as one of the most important players in Major League Baseball
history not only for his gift of athleticism but also his leadership skills and
qualities. Firstly, Jackie Robinson was a very determined player. Almost every
night the team was on the road, playing against a different team and a
different town. In some states at this time, laws existed that kept African
Americans and whites apart. This made it even harder for Jackie as he would be
by himself in a hotel. The team’s life was hard, but Jackie stuck with it even
though he had to sleep in another hotel or the bus, and often had a hard time
finding a restaurant where the pitchers of multiple teams were throwing balls
at his head and players were spiking him, he was determined to keep
playing.  Jackie was determined to make
the world a better place for African Americans by speaking out and writing
books. He believed that the discrimination people of color were facing and
continuously spoke up about the inequality.

 

To
continue, Jackie was a very hard-working man not only in baseball but after he
retired as well. In baseball, Jackie had to work extremely hard as an African
American to have the opportunities he achieved. As a child, he was dismissed
from any recreational opportunities and had to work twice as hard as anyone in
the major leagues at the time since he did not have the same opportunities. He
was hardworking as he won all of the awards previously stated. After baseball,
he worked in a business as vice president at the coffee company Chock Full
O’Nuts. He wrote a newspaper column and helped start a bank. He did not stop
working after he retired as he kept working for multiple companies. More
importantly, he had to work twice as hard as other athletes because of his skin
color.

 

Next,
Jackie was a very respectful player. Despite the discrimination Jackie faced,
which consisted of things being thrown at him and even death threats, Jackie
treated others with respect in hopes that he would achieve the same. When
Branch Rickey scouted Jackie, he said he was looking for someone who could refrain
from fighting back. I believe Rickey thought that Jackie was a talented,
respectful athlete who was respectful enough to not open his mouth and fight
back. Subsequently, Jackie Robinson’s most important quality could be argued to
be his immense amount of courage. As previously stated, Jackie faced virulent
racism. Many of his own team members refused to play with him, opposing
pitchers tried to beam his head and base runners tried to spike him. He
received countless amounts of hate mail and death threats. Fans shouted racist
remarks at him in every ballpark he attended and hotels/restaurants refused to
serve him.  Rickey had been looking for a
player who could stand up to the taunts and have the ability to not fight back.
People treated Jackie like he was nothing. They would intentionally peg him
with the baseball and he would have gashes under his eyes from it, but he
responded like a warrior. He kept playing and didn’t bother to fight back. When
he entered the MLB and broke the color barrier for the first time, it
influenced other African American people to do the same and follow their
dreams. Even today, people think and recognize Jackie of a role model and
example of a talented baseball player. His legacy will always be remembered as
a great act of moral courage. 

 

Lastly,
the most important leadership quality Jackie
Robinson presented was perseverance. Jackie persevered through racism, hatred
from his own teammates and other players, and had to deal with the problems and
negative effects he created once he began playing in the major leagues. When he
asked Branch Rickey if the only reason he wanted him was to fight back, he
replied saying he didn’t want a player who had the guts to fight back but a
player who had the guts not to fight back. Jackie had to deal with many
terrible things that almost every other major league player did not have to
deal with. As previously stated, Jackie could not stay in the same hotel as
other teammates, was continuously discriminated against by fans of every team
including his own and was targeted with the baseball once on the field not
because of skill but because of is skin colour. However, if this was to happen
to most people, they would quit. It would be too much to handle and they would
stop doing what they were doing. Jackie persevered through the discrimination,
through being pegged with baseballs every game and did not quit despite hate
and discrimination he faced as well as not letting anything get in his was or
stop him. These are just
five leadership qualities out of many that Jackie Robinson portrayed. Jackie
also demonstrated qualities like teamwork, integrity, commitment and
persistence. 

 

In regards to
Jackie’s leadership style, it is without a question that he is a democratic
leader. As a leadership class, we came up with the definition of leadership to
mean having an intentional positive influence on the lives and behaviours of
others which involves working with others to meet an objective. I would say
Jackie Robinson is a democratic leader. Robinson worked alongside a group and
held a mutual respect where they could push him around and discriminate against
him but he still maintained respect. Robinson could not be Autocratic because
autocratic leaders are demanding and force their way of things, where Jackie
could not take control in fear of what would happen to him. He could not be
Laissez-faire because these leaders are lazy, unconcerned and lack confidence.
Jackie was a very confident man but had quiet confidence as he did not push his
skills and ability on other players. He also is not lazy and unconcerned
because he worked hard for his success and had to work hard in order to
maintain a spot on the teams’ roster/ he had a huge target on his back already
and had to work a lot harder than others to keep the placement. As previously
stated, Jackie was a civil rights leader. His courage and discipline in
standing up for what he believes in/ against racism were just a preview of
actions taken by many members of the Civil Rights Movement.  

 

In my opinion, Jackie
Robinson was a successful leader who changed society for the better. His
success and leadership opened the door for all African-Americans. Branch Rickey
scouted Robinson as he noticed his talents and his morals and incredible character.
He showed leadership qualities that lead him to his great success. Rickey saw
that Jackie had the potential not only to excel on the team, but also saw his
ability to become a leader in order to make a change that needed to happen. Jackie
was a successful leader because he leads by example as he set an example for
all athletes to follow his courage and ability to maintain confidence while
being discriminated against. He took responsibility for all of his actions and
works with instead of against. One of his hardest battles of discrimination was
from his own teammates, however he continued to work with those who constantly
tormented him rather than against them, which led them to a World Series win. One
game in Cincinnati, the crowd was especially insulting, yelling unimaginable
taunts at Jackie. His teammate Pee Wee Reese recognized that the crowd was
getting to Jackie, so he walked across the field with his arm around him. The
two smiled at each other and the compassion of the crowd grew silent. This is
inspiring to me and many people around the world. Jackie Robinsons leadership
and courage will forever be remembered.

 

Therefore, Jackie
Robinson will always be
remembered as he broke the colour barrier in professional sports and paved a
pathway for other African-American athletes