Monthly Archives: May 2015

SELECTING THE RIGHT LEADER – “COMPETENCY”

Someone once stated: “Speed of the Leader – Speed of the Team”  I couldn’t agree more.  Just because someone has the title of “leader” does not mean they are a “leader.”

Have you ever seen a successful assistant baseball coach, area scout, or crosschecker bomb out on being the leader of a team, region, or department when they got the opportunity? That can happen because there are different competencies needed for being an assistant coach, area scout and crosschecker, than for leading and directing a team of people. Competency is defined as, “The intuitive knowledge and ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” 

When an incompetent person gets hired or promoted they will get frustrated and everyone around them does as well. Moving an unqualified person into leadership is always a bad move!  We have all seen people placed in leadership roles who were not yet ready to lead a team or department. When this happens, everyone on the team ends up frustrated.

When selecting the right baseball leader for your team or organization, it is always important to look for people who have a certain level of competency. They need to be people who are wired to give leadership to those they are leading. The word “Competent” is front and center. You want a leader with solid character…but also skill.

Stretch your thinking here for a minute. A very big missing ingredient in becoming a quality baseball leader on a team or department is the ability to surround yourself with people who have quality strengths.  Be honest with yourself and hire someone smarter. Drawing on the strengths of others is the mark of a great leader.

Competency answers the “Can this coach or scout get the job done” question. Are they proven? Are they skilled? Are they properly trained? Do they have the required relational skills? When I think of a competent leader being a responsible leader I think of five important ingredients…

1) Faithful: A leader in baseball who does not “show up” everyday and give their best to his team or organization is not a competent leader. They are faithful to the process. No matter how gifted you are in your ability as a baseball coach or scout. Being faithful to “show up” everyday is essential to those you are leading. Players and staff members may not voice it, however they will see right through it if you are not.

2) Teachable: A leader in baseball who thinks they know it all or feels like they have all the answers is not a competent leader. It is a must that a leader remain humble in order to remain teachable. Team members can sniff out who is authentic or who is self-centered. Be humble. Be teachable, and those you are leading will go to battle for you.

3) Passion: A leader simply has a deep passion to lead! A baseball leader cares about the players, staff, and families they are leading. Either you have passion or you don’t. Passion cannot be taught. A talented baseball coach or scout is important, but passion trumps it every time. If you can combine the two, then you have the potential for greatness.

4) Unified: A leader in baseball who is not unified at the end of the day with his players or staff is not a competent leader. It’s a must that everyone is on the same page. You can respectfully disagree regarding a player, potential prospect or staff member, however at the end of the day unity is essential to thrive as a team and organization.

5) Team: A leader in baseball is someone who sees the whole as more important than one individual. Anyone who is going to join your team or organization better bleed what you bleed or you are asking for trouble. Team and organizational leaders should know how to bring people together rather than pulling them apart. They should set the course not dictate the direction. Their focus is simply on whats best for the team or organization. They make it a point that all egos and agendas (the leaders first and foremost) are checked at the door of the office or clubhouse. They protect the culture of their team and staff. If it doesn’t benefit the team and organizational philosophy, it’s not welcome.

So, the question is simple. What kind of team leader are you? Baseball teams and organizations are looking for competent and responsible leaders, not necessarily superstar leaders. As you look back over the list above, I encourage you to ask yourself how you are doing? You can fool a lot of people – however you can’t fool yourself. Those you are leading are depending on you.

Have a great week!

s2s

Kevin

What five traits above are you still working to develop?  

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LEADERS AND LEGACY – ARE YOU A SUCCESS?

Legacies that matter are connected with people. A hundred years from now all that will matter is the people that you connected with in such a way that you added value and meaning to their lives.

Recently, I read a quote by political commentator Walter Lippmann that said, “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on.”  How true that is! Ultimately, if the people you are currently leading can’t go on without you, then you haven’t been successful in raising up competent leaders.

We have all heard the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  I also believe that “when the teacher is ready, the student appears.” There are people in your world who would be thrilled to learn from you – not just the person who will succeed you in your leadership position, but people in every area of your life – personally, spiritually, and professionally.

I believe the greatest legacy a leader can leave is having developed and multiplied more leaders. Develop them as widely and as deeply as you can. I’ve spent several years during the baseball off-season teaching leadership to potential leaders from every walk of life.

In the last few years, I’ve begun to personally invest in coaches and athletes who are actively teaching others the values and principles I embrace. In addition, I’m investing deeply in a small handful of core leaders in my inner circle weekly and monthly.

If you want to leave a legacy, invest in people, and encourage those you develop to pass on everything they learn from you to others who will do the same. Grow and develop more leaders by multiplication NOT addition. People are what matter in this world – not money, fame, status, position, career, buildings, organizations, or institutions. Only people!

(Achievement) comes to people who are able to do great things for themselves.

(Success) comes when they lead followers to do great things for them.

However a (legacy) is created only when leaders put their people into a position to do great things without them.

The legacy of successful leaders lives on through the people they touch and influence along the way. The only things you can change permanently are the hearts of the people you lead and invest in.

Be intentional with the time you have left. Make an impact. Multiply leaders. Leave a legacy that will out live you.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

BALANCE AND BOUNDARIES IN LEADERSHIP

Earlier this week I received an email from a scouting director asking if I could write some thoughts and principles regarding balance and boundaries in leadership. He shared how this is one of his biggest challenges with leading a scouting department and staff over the past few years.

As a leader there is always tension between the right balance and boundaries in leadership. Come on to strong and you might alienate the people you are leading, be to soft, and they may take advantage of your kindness. So what is the right balance?

I believe there are two aspects to help people you are leading.

Safety – This person listens, you hurt when they hurt, you are sensitive to their needs, you comfort them with no expectations in return, you cry with them, you hug them, you feel their pain, you are very compassionate, you are a safety net to the person, you are there for them day or night.

Challenge – This person tell it how it is, you bring accountability, you set boundaries, you are willing to help, but only if the one you’re leading is willing to do their part, you formulate a plan to bring about change in their circumstance, you’re not afraid to confront, you speak truth to the person, you are direct and forward, you are a problem fixer.

You are one of the above type leaders when helping those you lead. One comes very natural and easy for you. Both are good and both are needed.

Boundaries are fences and walls designed to protect us. I read a quote that says; “Knowing what I am to take responsibility for gives me freedom. Freedom to not own and take responsibility for other things.”

We are responsible to others and for ourselves (just ask my wife and children). One very important job as a leader is to help people learn to take appropriate ownership of issues. Below are some questions to ask yourself so you can have better balance in your life and leadership…

* Do I spend an appropriate amount of time with my family?

* Do I ask for help from friends or family, or do I try to be a martyr and do it all myself?

* Do I try to be to much too to many?

* Do I have unrealistic expectations of myself and others?

* Do I know how to say “No”?

Remember, you owe no one an explanation about why you will not do something that is not your responsibility. All you need to say is..”No”

So, as a leader, when do you need to be “All In” “Help Out” or “Move On”? These are tough questions to balance. However, below are some suggestions to consider…

* If the person is Making Progress = “Be All In”

* If the person is Helplessly Stuck = “Help Them Out”

* If the person is Going Backwards and does not care = “Move On”

For many of you who lead teams, staffs, and staff members commitment is not an issue, dedication is not an issue, however balance might just be the most challenging aspect of your leadership. If so, hang in there. Don’t give up. We are all in this together.

Keep leading with balance and boundaries in mind.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PROTECT AND LEAD YOUR FAMILY?

One of the most important characteristics of an effective leader is how they lead their family. As a baseball coach or scout, we can lead our players and teams to win championships or conference titles, yet fail in leading our family effectively. I realize today’s leadership blog might not be the most popular – but it might be the most needed.

We live in a fallen world – one that is increasingly indifferent to not only physical temptations – but the temptation to spend more time on our own success and career. It is very easy to slowly become out of balance. Balance being the key word.

If we want to live and lead with intention, we can’t be naive. As leaders, we must recognize the temptation that unfaithfulness poses and protect ourselves accordingly. Nothing will destroy our influence and legacy faster than unfaithfulness to our spouse and family members.

If we are going to avoid becoming casualties, we must have a strategy. Below are three actions steps to consider in order to protect your marriage more effectively:

Invest In Your Relationship With Your Spouse: It is amazing to me that so many men are willing to invest such enormous spiritual, emotional, and financial resources in relationships other than the one they have. This doesn’t make economic sense or common sense. If we want our marriage to grow and flourish, we must invest in it. This means investing time—dating, dreaming, laughing, talking, listening, and crying together. The greatest gift we can give our children is to love and be committed to their mother. Never forget – Love is spelled T.I.M.E.

Set Specific Boundaries: This may sound old-fashioned, perhaps even legalistic. So be it. I think our world could use a little old-fashioned common sense these days. Here are some thoughts to consider:

  • I will not go out to eat alone with someone of the opposite sex.
  • I will not travel alone with someone of the opposite sex.
  • I will do my best to speak often and lovingly of my wife.
  • I will prioritize and invite constructive accountability in my life.

Remember, What Is At Stake: What story do I want my children and grandchildren to tell? Your legacy is at stake. This puts it all in perspective for me. Do I want them to be proud of my life’s story and the legacy I left…or embarrassed?  Do I want to be remembered as a person who loves his wife and is faithful to her? Or do I want to be the one who squandered his legacy in a moment of indiscretion? Do I want to be remembered only as a great coach or scout? Or do I want to be known for having balance between my home life and professional life, and leading my family effectively? Remember; Baseball is what you do…it should never define who you are!

Last weekend, I attended the memorial of my father-in-law. He was 86 years old and was married and committed to his wife (my mother-in-law) for 66 years. One statement that kept coming up time and time again from people who spoke about him was; “He was a man who loved his family and was committed to them.”

It is time for real leaders to lead – not only in their professional lives but in their personal lives as well. If we can’t lead ourselves, we are not qualified to lead others.

News flash! If we expire today, baseball will move right on without us, it won’t miss a beat – however, it won’t be that easy for our family members. Character and integrity matters. Your legacy is at stake. Our children and grandchildren are counting on it.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

What are you doing to protect your marriage and lead your family?

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