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Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Blog, Leadership | 0 comments

Leadership Reexamined

Thanks for joining us on our Leadership Series journey! Next week we will wrap-up the series.

We received some interest in digging further into this idea of “doing what reality requires.” This week, we would like to revisit that concept and hopefully dissect it further.

I am going to let you in on a little secret about myself – I had a stunning basketball career that included some epic battles with Magic Johnson and Larry Byrd!

Trying to guard Magic was like nailing jello to a wall – the things he could do with a basketball!  And Byrd, he just had a grit that was terrifying!  Man could he battle. Unfortunately, I was past my prime before Jordan hit the scene so history will never know. I did hit some shots that were daggers to the hearts of those guys.

Clearly this never happened in reality; the context for this was just a 7th graders imagination – and pretty harmless!  Research says it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert. Yup, that’s the right number of zeros – ten thousand.  So to become an expert you have to have two things, talent and time.   Magic, Byrd and Michael Jordan had both.


The 10,000 hour rule holds true in all areas … The Beatles, Bill Gates, Tiger Woods.   Sure, some natural talent doesn’t hurt but studies are even showing that practice is more important than natural talent!

Of course, like everything else, there is one exception to this rule and that is personal opinion.  Everybody has one!  When you combine this with the emphasis on individual greatness (read more about this in our earlier blog) and our easy access to information through technology, you end up with discord instead of discourse.

We have forgotten the difference between knowledge, understanding, and the ability to create something new! Knowledge requires mere exposure; understanding is just describing something that already exists, but CREATING, well that takes 10,000 hours. One can know a lot, understand a little, but may not be able to create anything!

So what does this have to do with leadership?  Leadership requires us to know a lot, understand some, and (this is the critical piece) CREATE!! A constant and thoughtful examination of our opinion is necessary for effective leadership. Humility and power under restraint, guide us.  Questions such as “Do we need to defer to a colleague?  Do we need to ask for help?  Do we need to step aside and let someone else lead?” determine how we act.

When interacting with others, ask yourself what you have to contribute. Is it an opinion that needs to be examined?  Have you put in the time to weigh in?  The strongest teams allow for others to share and contribute…are you giving others equal time?

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