Dare To Be Positive: How To Be A Leader In The 21st Century
It was the first time that Bill and I had ever golfed together. He had no idea how bad I was, and I had no idea how good he was.
But it didn’t matter.
We were just playing golf.
Or were we?
Standing on the first tee off, ball perched precariously on the tee, shoes loosely gripping the wet morning grass, swatting at mosquitoes with my practice swings, my back aching from a bad night of sleep and 55 years of punishment, I prepared myself for the kill. Slowly my club raised, gaining momentum, winding the spring ready for the release… pause, head down, focus on the ball and nothing else, I pulled the trigger.
Expecting to hear the crisp “Ping” of steel and ball.
There is nothing as embarrassing as that sound on the first tee off, as you watch your ball rolling through the grass 40 feet in front of you. It’s deflating and a little bit frustrating… no, a LOT frustrating.
Standing straight up after the shot, I complained about my back and the club I was using and finally the fact that it was so early in the morning. I could have gone on and on, but it was Bills turn, so I shut up and let him shoot.
His shot was a repeat of mine, but his response wasn’t.
He stood there, calmly bent over to retrieve his unbroken tee, eyed where his ball had stopped and silently walked to the cart to replace his club.
We drove the 40 feet, dug out our clubs again and repeated the process of me shooting and flubbing the shot and complaining and making excuses and Bill flubbing his shot as well, but smiling and making conversation.
It took me that long to realize that this game wasn’t going to be like many of the others and Bill wasn’t going to be like many of the others either.
Today was only going to get better, but first, I needed to get out of my egoverse, stop over analyzing things and come back down to earth.
Be Open to Other Points of View
“So what books are you reading?” He asked me, and when I told him, he asked how I was applying what I was learning. He also asked how what I was reading could apply to him and his work.
Not only was he asking me about me and making me feel important, he wanted to learn as well, so he made the whole time we spent together about me… and I loved it.
I have such a history of complicating things like trying to figure out just why the round peg won’t fit in the square hole, and vice versa, that I often miss the message. Bill, on the other hand, wasn’t trying to figure things out; he was just being in the moment and absorbing what was being presented, and making me feel important along the way.
Seek Wisdom Before Knowledge
As I see it, after 30 years in the leadership business, there are mainly two camps that leaders come from: Knowledge Leadership and Wisdom Leadership. Knowledge pertains to being all about how something is done, and wisdom is about asking “why are things connected in the way they are?”
You don’t think so? All right then, Let me explain.
Knowledge leaders are often seen as micro managers because they want to take everything apart and examine the workings under their microscope so they can “know” what to do with it in any gi