News Detail


Jan, 2020

Executive Director Nik Penn on Leadership: Core Value Highlight


Leadership. This is one of the eleven Core Values that are fundamental to Rush Soccer and the first to be highlighted in the year of 2020. Leadership is critical in every aspect of the club, whether it be in the business side, the coaching relm, or on the field. It is a universally critical characteristic for success. But what makes a good leader?

Rush defines good leaders as those who ‘strive to be trustworthy, honest and sincere. They possess traits such as integrity and honor.  They are willing to serve others and sacrifice their own interests. Leaders are constructive and hardworking.’

Executive Director Nik Penn emphasizes why it is important to have these kinds of leaders:

“Good leadership matters because it helps bring people together to move in one direction. A good leader can motivate people to be successful and allow everyone to achieve more. Without good leadership, you have people doing their own thing, going in multiple directions, often conflicting and less efficient (and less enjoyable).”

When asked how to teach players to display this kind of leadership, Nik stated that the first step is to help players to believe in themselves. 

“They then do not have to fear taking responsibility in helping others and understand that they can bring people together.  Once they become comfortable in themselves they then can understand that selflessness is a key component, being able to listen and be empathetic, but also knowing they will not always please everyone.”

Nik believes that coaches have an important role of being an example of how to act and behave on the field and during practice. 


As Executive Director, Nik is also able to see the importance of leadership on the administrative side of Rush. 

“Relationship and trust are key in my eyes,” he explains. 


He continues by saying that getting to know those you work with and developing a relationship with them so that they know you care about them not only as an employee, but as a person is crucial to developing this trust. Showing gratitude and following through with what you say are also important.


“Once you do these things, then you gain the trust of the people you are working with and they will feel comfortable in asking for help, asking for advice and opening up about their needs.  Be transparent in what you are doing, what you can do to help, and what you can't do.”


Nik recognizes that the importance of relationship and trust are essential regardless if you’re in an office or on the field, “You become someone they rely on to help direct, assist, and lead them.”

This Core Value has impacted Nik in his own experience as both a player and in his adult life:

“I was more of a quiet kid, but spent time observing and learning from others to see the kind of person that I would want to be led by (I am still that type of adult).  I feel I have a good grasp of where I stand in the order and whether I need to step up and lead, or sit back and contribute when asked. I was like this as a player, depending on the environment I was in.  Either way I want to ensure that people can rely on me and trust me that I will do what I say I will.”


We all can aim to be better leaders in the situations that we are in. To the players that are striving to be better leaders on and off the field, Nik emphasizes, “Be true to who you are.”


“You don't need to pretend to be something you are not to please others,” he continues.  


“You have your values, your ideals and if you are consistent to these then you will feel more comfortable in yourself, and others will trust you.  Understand that other people have needs too. Selflessness is a great quality, but you will need to be able to listen and understand what others need so you can help in the solution.  Be grateful, be humble and be true!”


In the coming weeks, Rush will continue to highlight the Core Value of Leadership, including perspectives from a Technical Director at a local club and a Rush player. Stay tuned!


11801 Brayton Drive 
Anchorage, Alaska 99516

Phone : 907-561-7874
Email: [email protected]

Rush National sponsor

Copyright © 2020 Alaska Rush Soccer Club  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In