For the first time in his two-decades-long coaching career, Craig Dickenson will be hosting a leadership seminar.
The Riders Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator will be hosting a webinar, “Third and Leadership”, on Nov. 5, which will reflect on some of the lessons he’s learned.
He also plans to challenge stereotypes about leadership.
“Why is it that we only get asked about our leadership style, or what we think about leadership when we finally get the job?,” Dickenson said. “You can lead and practice leadership in all phases of your life, even when you’re a football player, and even when you’re a young coach.”
The idea of having the 2019 CFL West Division coach of the year host the discussions came about after Dickenson spoke to the Emerald League. The group is made up of female leaders within the Riders’ community who donate a minimum of $2,500 to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation. Dickenson spoke to the group for roughly 15 minutes, but the foundation’s executive director Cindy Fuchs said the discussion could have lasted a day.
“It wasn’t about football, it was around leadership on the field and football is very similar to leadership in life,” Fuchs said.
When Dickenson began his coaching career with the NCAA Division 1 University of Montana Grizzlies in 1995, he received a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. The coach had originally planned to coach high school football and teach history and said going into graduate studies was the smartest thing he ever did.
“I worked harder, I learned more, and it was a lot more independent study where you were responsible for your own learning,” Dickenson said. “If you’re going to be a good leader, people need to trust you, for them to trust you they have to feel like you have their best interest in mind and that you’re not concerned only about yourself”
The coach is also optimistic that CFL fans will see him on the sidelines in 2021, instead of online, after the 2020 CFL season was cancelled.
“I think the CFL is going to come through this certainly scarred in someways, but I think better off in the long run because of it,” Dickenson predicted.
The hour-long webinar is open to the public, and tickets range from $25 to $50. It’s aimed at business leaders, coaches and fans who want insight into Dickenson’s leadership style.