Leadership 101

simple insights for those in leadership

Tuesday Thots | How Not To Lead (Lessons Learned From Philadelphia Sports This Week)

I love sports and there’s a lot of it watched in our house, especially this time of year.  I live with two Philadelphia Phillies fans – my wife and my son, and since we live in the Philadelphia area, we see a lot of Phillies games. As I listen to and observe Philadelphia sports, I was struck by a few things I’ve seen this week that I thought reflected poor leadership.

  1. Poor leaders rest on their accomplishments.  The Flyers were looking really good . . . last round. To quote former hockey coach and current ESPN hockey analyst, Barry Melrose, “They’ve lost their mojo.”  Their momentum is completely gone.  Leaders and organizations lose their momentum when they think that they’ve arrived, that they’re invincible, and when they rest on their accomplishments.  As I listened to Philadelphia fans surrounding me, I heard comments like, “The Flyers are going all the way!,” “They’re unbeatable!,” “This is our year and no one can stop us! Look at how easily we’ve handled everyone.”  Oops. Sounds like some businesses and churches I’ve heard of.
  2. Poor leaders build themselves up by knocking others down.  Cole Hammels.  Really good pitcher.  But his recent move of throwing at nineteen year old rookie Bryce Harper – and admitting it! – is a disappointment (not that I’m naive enough to think it doesn’t happen all the time). Words such as “classless” are being thrown around outside of Philadelphia.  The throw at Harper got me thinking about leaders and organizations who habitually put others down, criticize others, “throw at” others in order for themselves to look better.  Whatever happened to just being the best you can be and allowing others to see you that way?  When did leaders and organizations take their cues from the political smear campaigns used during elections?
  3. Poor leaders gloat in the failures of others.  In other Phillies’ news is the reaction of the Philadelphia fans when former Phillie, Jason Werth, broke his wrist while diving/sliding for a ball in right field.  The Philadelphia fans booed and cheered that he had gotten hurt and made statements like, “It deserves him right.”  I think this is closely related to #2 above. Again I ask why leaders and organizations don’t just work as hard as they can to be the best that they can?  Why do we delight in the failures of our “competition?”  Great leaders and organizations add value to others – sometimes even to the “competition.”  Nowhere do I see this more prevalent (outside of the Phillies) than in the tech world (especially in smartphone OS companies) and in churches.  Such a shame.

I don’t think I’ve stumbled upon anything profound here.  Just some observations I’ve made this week about poor leadership as illustrated by the sports community surrounding me.

Advertisements

May 8, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: