10 Rules for Senior Black Belts Responsibilities

1.    Protect the King. Just like the military, the senior leadership should be protected so they can insure the growth and security of the organization. While not necessarily defending the leader from a life and death situation like seen in combat, he or she needs protected just the same. Maybe it is from the small details that take his time away from the more important one or maybe it is simply protecting him from himself and mistakes he may be making due to not having all the information.  A senior black belt makes sure the leader has all the information and resources to be able to lead the organization to a new level and protecting the membership as a whole.

2.    To maintain the protocol and etiquette of the organization. Rules, regulations and protocol have been developed over generations to insure the safety and discipline of an organization. A senior black belt leads the juniors to understand these rules and encourages them to set the example for their kohai. Never harsh or overly disciplinary in action but out a genuine love and caring for the organization and its members.

3.    Be a great role model for the junior black belts and Kyu ranks. All the rules won’t help unless the seniors live by example. The most powerful leadership principle of all is walking the walk – do as you say– and think about what is right and true before you speak.

4.    Always continue your training. The quality of an organization flows down stream and unless the seniors continue to progress, the organization will stagnate. Dedicate yourself to being a student of life, for life.

5.    Protect the weak. In every organization there is a tendency to sometime over look the little guy. It is imperative that the senior black belts keep an open eye for this and go out of his or her way to make that extra step to insure that no one is overlooked.  A word, touch or simply word of encouragement can make a difference.

6.    Give back. Those of us that have earned a black belt understand how priceless this gift truly is. Jim Mather once asked a group of black belts what it would take to give back their black belt and all the qualities they had developed through martial arts training. After one person jokingly said a million dollars, they went on to agree that this was indeed priceless. If it is priceless to us, then will it not be priceless to others that we empower with this unique gift? A senior black belt has a duty to share this priceless gift to others. We change the world one person at a time.

7.    Edify the school and organization. A senior black belt never speaks badly of another school or organization and yet needs to find ways to edify their organization and its positive qualities when ever possible. In modern days a look at the business side is important. Free guest passes should be carried at all times so that once you have edified the school and invitation to join is easy to facilitate.

8.    Participate in as many special events as possible. Not only are you learning but you are getting to know the new students. I know it is tough to balance donating organizational time and having enough quality time with your family, but a genuine effort to support events should be a priority.

9.    Develop other skills needed as a future leader. Management skills, organizational skills, public speaking, teaching methodology and overall personal growth will be the keys to a successful organization in the future.

10.    Stay the course. One step at a time anything can be achieved. Senior black belts need to dedicate themselves as being a part of an organization for life. Sure we need personal time, but a senior black belt is a very important block in the foundation of a successful organization.

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