In this episode, Peter Loge and I have a wide-ranging conversation on soccer’s many uses as a metaphor. Peter is the author of “Soccer Thinking for Management Success.” Throughout the book, he discusses several different ways that soccer overlaps with management concepts. Check out his work at www.soccerthinking.com
Cautionary tales like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” seem to be less prevalent than in the past. Perhaps that is just my perception or my own implementation of life lessons to my kids. I remember exactly who told me this story and for what reason. It had the desired effect. In third grade, I would frequently “not feel well” in order to be sent down to the nurse’s office. Once my visits became frequent enough, the nurse recounted the story of the boy who cried wolf. My visits to her office became more legitimate.
Although the moral of the story is extremely clear, it might be worth a revisit because it could go further. In the end, the boy gets hurt because the townspeople don’t believe him. His dishonesty lead to pain because it short-circuited the system that was intended to protect him. While this moral has served me and countless others well, let’s go further.
The boy not only put himself in peril, he also robbed himself. He robbed himself of the experience of watching how the townspeople dealt with wolves. His deception was a short term diversion that took away his long term solution. If he had been diligent in his duties, he may have seen that scaring off the wolves was something that he could eventually do on his own. Developing this skill set over time could have saved his life in the future.
This revisited moral is possibly even more useful than the original now. The world is full of alarms, warning devices and security systems that keep us safe from “wolf attacks”. However with all of this “protection” are we going to be ready to act when things go sideways. If we are always providing our young people with a “safe space”, will they know how to handle themselves when real dangers show up? Hope is not a strategy. Hoping that the systems in place will be enough to cover all eventualities actually leaves those on the inside helpless. So don’t hope that nothing will happen, take steps to prepare for those possibilities.
Systems can be great and it is completely fine that we depend on them, until it’s not. Following the credo of the Boy Scouts, “be prepared!” You don’t know what is coming in your future but if you never consider what’s possible in either the positive or the negative, then you’re bound to be unprepared. We’ve all got exactly one objective in life: FCO (Figure Crap Out!). That’s it! You don’t deserve a problem free life. You can only create one. Not by eradicating all problems but by preparing for so many eventualities that you’re never caught by surprise!
Get ready people!
Donna Fishter is a Leadership Coach and Team Architect who works with athletes and coaches in order to make their teams better. In this conversation we cover some of the ingredients of good leadership, red flags and remedies for poor team chemistry as well as an assortment of other topics. You can find Big D at www.donnafishter.com
Click the link to see: A List of Big D’s Favorite Books, Videos, Speakers, etc.
In a world where almost anyone can have 1,000 or more followers, who is doing the leading? It seems as though there should be a connection between the two: leaders and followers. Unfortunately the act of following has such a low threshold for involvement that many have it as the default option. Following is easy, semi-rewarding and comes with little to no responsibility. The problem is that just because people are following, doesn’t mean that anyone intends to lead. Following the car in front of you is a good strategy if you’re going to the same place. It’s a horrible strategy if your intentions are different than the person you’re following. Leadership should be an intention, not meandering with followers in tow. So the question is, who should be a leader? You!
You should be a leader of at least one person if not more. Leadership is needed now probably more than ever before in the history of the world. The reason that leadership is in such high demand is because we as a people got so damn good at following. We’ve become so exceedingly talented at following that we barely recognize our power to lead. That power starts with you and your choices. Are you leading your own life or following the rules, path or suggestions from someone else? There is nothing wrong with following the path, if it leads where you want to go. The issue comes from following out of complacency, fear or doubt. These are not usually the emotions that cause greatness.
Desire, courage and self-belief are the kindling that begin the fires of greatness. We were all meant to be leaders of at least one person. Lead yourself in the direction that you most desire to go. Have the courage to take steps forward. Believe in your ability to string enough of those steps together to succeed. Perhaps when you’ve developed the leadership muscle enough, you’ll be ready to take on followers. Just make sure that they are following you with intention.
Good song below!
As a teacher of language, I often find fault with the English language. It falls short in many ways. It breaks its own rules. Pronunciation is ambiguous and changes happen all the time. Probably my biggest gripe with English is that many of the things we say are either misleading or cause us to look at things in a way that does not serve us.
One instance of this vocabulary problem is from my position as a coach. The phrase “we’re winning” needs to go. It is something that I know I’ve said before because it’s what prompted me to write this post. Winning is worthless until you have won. Even worse is that realizing that you’re winning causes a sense of comfort and a change in attitude toward the game.
Until you’ve won, you’re leading. Leading does not imply a result but rather a process. Leading means that you’re ahead of the opponent but they are still there. Leading is something that can be taken away if you let it. Leading is difficult and a struggle. It takes effort and focus to lead until the end but if you want to win, it’s what you have to do.
Don’t let the word trick you. You’re not winning or losing. Either you’re leading or you’re trailing!