Thoughts on Life & Leadership

A Junto Strategy Project

Leadership Arm-Chair Quarterbacking


This post is in honor of football season coming into full swing. As a major football fan, I am so happy that fall has arrived. But onto more “serious” matters.

I’ve written on the difference between giving advice and living by that advice before, but this week some experiences have reminded of this dynamic. In particular, my experiences have revolved around leadership. Now part of my job is giving leadership advice. I write about leadership. I train people in improving their personal leadership. And I coach executives on being great leaders for their organizations. So in a sense, I am putting myself in ‘my place’ with this post.

Bottom line, leadership is easy to write about and lecture on. It is an entirely different thing to actually be a great leader. In fact, it is extremely difficult. There are hundreds if not thousands of leadership arm-chair quarterbacks, who sit on their ‘couch’ and provide advice on what they see. While there is some skill involved in being able to really see what is going on and to provide some constructive help, the advice is the easy part of the process. As a coach, a friend, or leadership expert or even as business leader, it is important to keep in mind how different the game looks when you are actually on the field.

In fact, the best leaders are able to consistently maintain that picture (player versus coach) in their minds as they work to develop, coach, and lead their leaders. That perspective helps provide a sense of humility and patience that creates the kind of trust and buy-in that every leader needs to be effective.

Go Cougars & Go Pats!

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