Scab Leaders

So who’s with me on being relieved that the real officials are back in the NFL? I’d like to send a thank you shout out to all the “scab officials” who allowed us to start the 2012 football season.

While many sports enthusiasts, coaches, and players were complaining about the officiating of the scab officials, I couldn’t help but think about this unique situation as being something I often see in the business world.

Great performance doesn’t happen when you place inexperienced or weak leaders in positions that require mature wisdom and experience. Are we surprised that the scab officials weren’t as good? I mean, shouldn’t we have expected that? (more…)

Some of our greatest leadership lessons (both good and bad) can be learned from kids. They are innocent and without self-obsession, expressing true human nature. A good friend of mine shared this cute story with me, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Thanks Laurie!

There’s a family in our cul-de-sac that has three kids ages 7, 5, and 3. The mom is intimately involved in their lives and keeps the kids very active. Michael, the oldest child, is a typical first born; he’s confident, a little on the bossy side, and is already showing signs of leadership at his young age. Over the weekend I watched the mom and her three kids riding their bikes down the hill from their house past ours. Michael was way out in front, enjoying the moment of being in the lead and being very vocal about his position.

Just a short while later the family was riding back, this time uphill. Michael stopped his bike to take a break, and his sisters and mom passed him on their way to the top of the hill. Michael yelled out, “I’m the leader! I’m the leader! You need to wait for me. You all know that I’m the leader!” (more…)

Today’s post by Annie Kelley* continues our Emerging Leaders series, featuring guest posts from young leaders in the workplace.

It was the last step in our ultimate do-it-yourself project of building our own home. I’d survived about 300 trips to the hardware store, eating most evening and weekend meals at the convenience store-meets-café known as Petty’s Pit Stop, and having to make more decisions in past nine months than I’d made in the first 23 years of my life.

We were getting the carpet installed, and everything was going smoothly until I was asked a question.

Did I want the carpet to end inside the dining room or at the edge of the inside wall?

My house-building fatigue collided with my weakness in making decisions with confidence, and I froze. (more…)

Today’s post by ML Hubbard* continues our Emerging Leaders series, featuring guest posts from young leaders in the workplace. Read, enjoy, and join the conversation!

As a Millennial in the workplace, I’ve approached the much-anticipated fork in the road, asking myself some of the common questions we all ask at various points in our careers: “What am I doing here? Am I making a difference? Does this line up with who I am?”

I work at a creative and energetic place. Every day is a revolving door of new partnerships, branding initiatives, product development, and continuous execution. One would think that in any given day that would be enough to stimulate and motivate a young professional to charge on and change the world.

However, I know that my being busy doesn’t necessarily mean I’m being productive. At the end of the day, I need to know I’m making a lasting impact by championing my organization’s vision and working with passion and purpose. (more…)

Today’s post by Charlotte Walker* commences the first guest post in our Emerging Leaders series, which we’re introducing to both teach and learn from today’s up and coming leaders. Read, enjoy, and join the conversation!

Less than a year after joining my new employer, I was managing a profitable program and tasked with delegating part of my responsibilities to a new teammate. Her name was Laura, and she was quite a bit older than me.  I’d only spoken with her a few times, so I set up a time to meet with her and begin training.

After a few pleasantries, our meeting began with Laura asking, “I couldn’t help but notice how young you are. How old are you?”

A bit taken back, I said, “25.”

She replied, “Wow! I’m old enough to be your mother! And now you’re training me! Isn’t that something?”

I tried to make light of her remarks, saying, “Well, I was born 35, so that makes it a little more even.”

The situation was awkward, and Laura’s comments made me feel uncomfortable and incompetent. I felt like she was comparing me to the other 25-year-olds in her life, including her own son. (more…)

As a former school teacher, I remember the endless debates between the school board and the parents on who should be accountable to teach sex education to the children. Was it the school system’s responsibility or the parents? Should they teach abstinence or safe sex? When should the subject be introduced?

The business world is also struggling with the accountability questions of who, what, and when, but in our case it’s on the subject of leadership. Who is responsible for preparing the next generation of leaders? Is it the universities or the employers?  What do we teach them about leadership, and when should we start developing leaders? (more…)