Month: February 2013

2 Lessons Learned From the Popes Resignation

2 Lessons Learned From the Popes Resignation

There can be a fine line between a leader and a dictator.  A leader serves others.  A dictator serves themselves.  The former is how I would describe the actions of Pope Benedict XVI who made the historic move to step down from the highest office in the Catholic Church.  His reasons?  He felt his physical limitations kept him from serving in the role to which he was called.
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I’m not a Catholic but I do admire the strength of decision in this physically frail man.  Here is what I can learn as a leader from the Popes action.

  1. Good leaders give those He leads advance notice of pending changes.  To the world, it appeared sudden but to the Pope’s leadership circles, they knew that this was coming.  One of the Cardinals a few clicks away from the Pope said that the Pontiff had mentioned several times within the last 6 months that the change was on the horizon.  This “holy heads up” gave the decision makers time to start the process of finding a replacement which should be named before Easter.
  2. Good leaders get out of the way if it is for the betterment of those whom they serve.  Like I said before, dictators serve only themselves.  If the Pope was dictatorial, we wouldn’t be talking about a resignation until funeral plans were being made. Humility is a key attribute in a good leader.

I applaud the Pope.  I honor his wisdom and I’ve learned from his decision and action.

Peace!

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What To Do When Your Lights Go Out

What To Do When Your Lights Go Out

Superbowl 47.  Stellar performances.  Great come backs. Manly squabbles on the field.  And yes, even a “lights out” moment that changes the energy of play.  During those 34 minutes, the coaches on both sides instructed their teams to do four things while they waited in half darkness.  What the coaches told them applies you personally and if you’re leading a team.

Superbowl 2013

  1. Accept that you’re not always control – The opposing coaches (who happen to be brothers) were frantically trying to get information about what was going on but knew that there was nothing they could do to change the situation.  They accepted the reality that sometimes stuff happens but to keep their focus where it needs to be.
  2. Keep your mind straight – Much of life is mental.  The coaches told their players to keep focused on what they were there to do – win the Big Game!  Coach Jim Harbaugh was overheard going from player to player saying, “Keep your mind straight!”  His players knew what that meant and they did whatever they needed to protect their thoughts from wandering off mission.
  3. Keep moving – Both sides of the field had players laying on the turf, stretching, squatting and jogging to keep limber.  The worst thing for any team in the middle of darkness is to let laziness and status quo slip in.
  4. Stay together – They were in groups as they waiting.  Talking.  Processing.  Looking over past plays.  But each team stayed together as they huddled under a half lit dome.  They kept encouraging each other by repeating the above three actions: Accept that you’re not always in control, Keep your mind straight, Keep moving.

That is what good coaching and leadership is about.  That is what teams do.  That is what makes for success in the midst of darkness.

Peace!

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