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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Score Takes Care of Itself

Bill Walsh's classic, The Score Takes Care of Itself presents a cornucopia of leadership concepts. Here are a few from the Fundamentals of Leadership chapter. The lessons transcend sport, advising personal and professional decision-making. 

He discusses coaching and a failed game plan as Stanford coach. He persisted with it out of pride until he finally adjusted (to a passing game), allowing his team to come back with a narrow victory against Tulane.  

"Coaches often try to force a plan past the point of reality...this is no different from a corporate leader who imposes a plan of action beyond the point of no return, the point where continuing makes no sense and becomes destructive."

"When does your unswerving determination to do it your way - what you deem "the right way" - take you and your organization over the cliff?"

"How do you know when it's time to quit, to try another approach, to move in another direction?"

"The epic journey of Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton is worth noting...I also greatly admire his courage, loyalty, and dedication, but in case you forgot, his expedition was doomed; it ended in failure: the HMS Endurance was trapped in ice and crushed. The magnitude of his ultimately successful rescue effort - rather than the failure to reach his primary goal - is what we remember."

"A leader must be keen and alert to what drives a decision, a plan of action...among the most common faulty reasons are 1) trying to prove you are right and 2) trying to prove someone else is wrong."

"If I led our team down the road to failure...I wanted to make sure the quality of my reasoning was very solid...what is inexcusable is to fail because you are unwilling to admit that your way was the wrong way and that a change of course is your only path to victory."

"Proving that you are right or proving that someone is wrong are bad reasons for persisting."

Our job, whether coaching or managing our personal affairs, is to put people, whether players or our families, in a position to succeed. When we let ego, not good sense, rule us, then our chances for success plummet. Leading isn't about getting our way, but finding the best way.  

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