The following is the planned introduction to a chapter in the manuscript of the new book I’m working on. The title to the book is “A. C. E. Your Way.” The book is expected to be released late fall of 2020.
Chapter 7 Introduction
Note: The chapter 6 intro is skipped because the topic of adversity with the example was covered in a prior blog post on June 20, 2019.
Leadership can be multi-directional, as it includes leading yourself and others. Do you have the self-discipline, self-motivation, and self-confidence to lead yourself on a path to success and happiness? In order to be a good leader of others, it starts with self. If that is where it ends, so be it. You will accomplish a lot in life.
Leadership of others is not for everyone. It can be a tough gig. Some people are cut out for it, but it’s not for everyone. But those that are in a leadership position do have the opportunity to learn and grow on the job.
Back in the late 1980s, a tennis coach in the Big 8 conference (now Big 12) made a comment about another coach. He said the other coach had evolved into becoming a very successful coach of his team. He made a general comment I’ll never forget about leadership and a person being able to change. He said in a 6-month period you can make significant changes in your approach for the better. Today, we would call that having a growth-mind set. I feel the major changes start within you before they start within other people. For instance, how you deal with criticism or second-guessing by others. You need to figuratively carry a shield to deflect criticism. This is a real strength to be able to do this without getting defensive.
The coach that allegedly changed his approach, went on to have a very successful career as the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Texas. His name is Jeff Moore. He is now a well-respected authority on leadership and the author of the book, Strive Together.
One of my favorite personal stories came in the early 1990s when I reached out to meet the head football coach from my undergrad alma mater, The University of Colorado. The University of Colorado played at the University of Missouri in Columbia. I wanted to meet the CU head football coach, Bill McCartney, because he was a man of high moral character, a person with strong convictions, a strong leader, and a very successful football coach. The main reason I wanted to meet him was to talk to him about leadership.
I went to the visiting team hotel in Columbia and hung around long enough to meet Coach McCartney coming out of a meeting room. I explained I was a CU grad and I was now living in Columbia, MO teaching high school and coaching high school tennis. I don’t remember my exact question, but I do remember the specific answer he gave me nearly 30 years ago about his philosophy on leadership. He said, “some people will appreciate what you do for them now, some in a few years, and some will never know.” The critical part of his statement is the power of the last few words. I interpret it to mean some people will never appreciate what you are doing for them now or ever. A strong leader has the inner strength to be okay with themselves, no matter how each people view them. Strength of conviction! Not easy to do, preventing those doubters and disbelievers from penetrating your armor.