It doesn’t matter what you do, or where you go, there is no doubt that leadership matters. Big company, small company, local government, national government, even religion isn’t immune to bad leadership.
#BREXIT for me, is a case in point. Leadership on both sides has been severely lacking, irrespective of which side you are on. For the Conservative Government, starting with David Cameron, followed by Teresa May, and now bottom feeding with Boris Johnson, there has been someone in the job, but there hasn’t been a leader.
As Johnson is finding out, being a leader is very different from wanting to be a leader, and getting to be a leader. The same can be said to be true of President Trump. Many would say he is leading, but while he tweets, the actual organization of government and the to a point, the country, lacks any real direction and leadership. Controversy after controversy, sacking after sacking, leading with a failure to follow through and communicate in more than 140-characters.
As [Boris] Johnson is finding out, being a leader is very different from wanting to be a leader, and getting to be a leader
So, it was refreshing to hear former Denver Bronco Ryan Harris being interviewed on Colorado Matters by Ryan Warner. Harris, a Super Bowl winner with the Broncos, has a storied football career, and has obviously been exposed at various times to good and bad leadership.
Harris is as good as any Harvard Business school lecture at highlighting not just what leadership is, but also why leadership is important. It doesn’t matter where you are in an organization, what you need in your first 45-days, is confidence that you are doing the right thing. If you don’t get it, that can take a long time to recover, and for some it never happens.
Listen to Harris to about the experience of winning:
We see this all the time in the tech industry with first release teams that don’t have great leadership, everyone pulls together to get the first release out of the door, but after that, people leave, the team becomes fragmented and disjointed. The 2nd release doesn’t meet the market needs and the decline has set in.
It’s often said that football is a metaphor for life, the way Harris explains it, it is certainly a great guide to leadership. And yeah, the Broncos lost against the Oakland Raiders, but remember, leadership is knowing how to handle failure.
Hear the full 12-minute interview, here, its well worth the time! If you do listen, rather than think about Football, or even sports, listen as Harris talks about your management and leadership, whatever business you are in.