Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leadership Lessons

10 am

So there I was, engaging in a little posterity investment by playing the role of human jungle gym. I receive a phone call from a parent...your team is warming up to play their game...

You ever have a dream where somehow, someway you just totally missed out on all the preparations for your wedding? You're drunk with sleep and your bride-to-be calls and exclaims in high-pitched tones only a dog (and you) can hear, "WHERE ARE YOU? WE'RE ALL WAITING!" Then somehow, someway you are instantly there all decked out in your birthday you spend the rest of the time hiding? neither, but you could dream it...then you'd get a sense of the panic that I experienced earlier today.

Well, to make a long story...I got there after the start of the 3rd quarter, the team started playing with only 5 guys, missing two starters...the reason they were there is because the JV boys had played at 9...we weren't due to play until noon. The call comes at 10. I arrive at the gym at 11:00 (away game, of course). We ended up losing, no surprise because of the circumstances.

As I tell my students, every day is a preparation for leadership. Today, one of my principles of leadership was demonstrated: Communication is one of the hardest and most important areas of leadership. I talked to them about this after the game. Whoever's fault it was...the breakdown in communication produced a cascade of ill effects: the game was a sham because of missing players and coach, the individual players and thus family's schedules and plans are disrupted (which may have its own set of consequences), momentum built from our last win was lost, develops the potential to have ill-will between the people representing the two organizations, the professionalism of both parties can come into question...I could go on.

So, one misplaced phone call or forgotten detail can disrupt and cause dissension. This is on a very small scale. Now apply this to large organizations and the potential for mayhem and disillusionment grows exponentially.

Quality leadership must have a vision and protect it with godly character. However, the leader must also develop a tool chest of skills to implement the vision. Without the tools, the vision lies dormant inside the leader's head, where it does no good to anyone.

In fact, if the vision stays in his head, he ceases to be a leader, either because he will be removed from the leadership position, or (more likely) people will merely cease to follow him. If you fancy yourself a leader, look back. If there's no one following you, you're just taking a walk.


s u s a n said...

"If you fancy yourself a leader, look back. If there's no one following you, you're just taking a walk." Did you come up with this yourself? =) Impressive. It's like one of those things you get on google when you search for 'quotes on leadership'. =)

Daniel said...

"The key to creativity is hiding your sources." -Einstein