The True Meaning Of Leadership 

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.” ~ Herb Brooks, Coach for the U.S.A. Men’s Ice Hockey, 1980.


It was a sunny day at the Blue Lagoon in Nassau, Bahamas.  A bunch of us were laying out on the beach in front of the lagoon when it came time for a water challenge to see who could get across and through the obstacles first.  It began with a young man on the cruise none of us knew, and Bill Corbin, leader of K-LOVE’s pastor team.

They both jumped, ran and climbed, but it became clear Bill would win, and he did.

But then he jumped back in the water and swam to where his “competitor” was still struggling and began to encourage him through the rest of the obstacles until he too had completed the course.

It was an incredible demonstration of the value of leadership.  Bill didn’t do an arm pump and take a victory lap, he turned back to encourage.

We think of leadership in directive terms, telling people what to do, and often how to do it.  We’re very good at being “corrective” too, but we don’t think as much about encouraging our own team members, cheering them on to their own victory.

Leadership isn’t just about finding difficulties and correcting them, that’s management.  We can always find something wrong, and it’s easier than being the encourager, which is leadership.

Sometimes it seems that way back in the darkest parts of our minds the “corrector” lives, ready to pounce.  But, like all good leadership, it’s a choice.  One seems easier than the other.  One gives you temporary short term improvements, and the other allows you to help the other person grow and accomplish long-term, valuable growth.  One creates a better employee, and the other creates a better, more motivated person.

Which one do you think is most apt to help you achieve your goals?

And then I heard someone say radio…

It’s a habit of mine now, noticing labels, logos, shoes. Michael Jordan


It was my birthday and we were sitting in a restaurant with family.  We were talking about who was doing what, the menu, the view, kids, and grandkids…

And then I heard the word “radio” at a table on the other side of the room.

It’s funny how our minds are attuned to filter out almost everything except what’s relevant to us.  We can be in a crowded ballroom buzzing with people and still hear our own name.  It gets our attention and pulls us in.

It’s a good lesson for radio talent. If you’re talking about what’s relevant to the listener, you’ll draw them in.  If you’re talking about what’s irrelevant to the listener they’ll never hear you at all.  That’s why there are so few true personalities, they’re too busy talking about what’s trending instead of what they have in common with the listener.

Like Michael Jordan, you’re attuned to your own interests.

How Leadership is like Call Of Duty

call of duty

“True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.” ~ Norman Schwarzkopf

The latest version of Call Of Duty is coming out, and you can hardly wait.  Finally, you get your copy and rush off to play. It gets you out of the real world and into one where you have control.  Or does it?

At this point there are several things you can be assured of when the new version comes out.:

1.  You’re going to get shot.  It’s a new game and you don’t know it as well as others, so it’s going to happen.  Just like in real life leadership.  Unfortunately, like COD, it’s ever evolving and becoming more difficult.  The higher you go (the difficulty settings) the more challenging it gets.  If you accept these setbacks as short term, rather than fatal, you’ll be better.

2.  It’s easier with allies.  People to watch your back and be a team of people with a common goal.  We all do better as a part of a team than we do as a leadership maverick.  That stirs emotion in the souls of those who always have to win, and thereby never learn.  They probably operate in single player mode anyway.

3.  There’s always something new.  If there weren’t new features there’d be no sales.  You’ll run into road blocks in leadership too.  You’ll encounter tough areas and new challenges on a regular basis. But players don’t give up or ignore them, they keep learning and trying until they master them.

4.  There are do-overs.  Like the game, you can try again when you have a real life setback.  It doesn’t have to be the end of your life or your career.  You may have to go back to the beginning of that scene, but with renewed information about how not to die.

5.  You’ll never be done.  After you’ve worked your way up from novice, a new version of the game comes out, and you start all over again.

Alright, let’s go play.

Living In A Bubble

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  – Abraham Lincoln

protective_bubble

I realized recently how success…or failure…can change your perspective.  But especially when you’re successful, you can begin living in a bubble.  Suddenly everything is seen through the lens of your success, which tends to lead you to see anything and everything in a way that reinforces that last success.  No need to examine alternatives or a wider perspective on the world, just where you are and where you’ve been.  It’s one of those “if I close my eyes no one can see me” strategies.

It’s calm inside the bubble because there’s never anything bigger to wrestle with. You’re the most successful person in the bubble, but it’s such a small part of the world around you.  The bubble keeps you from growing and expanding, and you don’t realize how small you seem to those outside of it.  Until one day the bubble bursts, and you feel the full force of reality.

How do you know if you’re in a bubble?  Ask yourself these questions:

Am I pretty much doing the same thing over and over, enjoying the celebration around me?  Are you doing those things with essentially the same people who, being inside the bubble with you, are the only ones who have your trust?  Do you fight new ideas that are nearby, but outside your sphere of influence?  Do you spend more time on managing to keep things outside the bubble from breaking in than you do scanning the horizon for new ideas?

Here’s a thought from the Crosby Retreat I attended in New York recently:  Somewhere someone’s planning something that will disrupt your success.  Or maybe burst your bubble.

 

Beyond Just The Games

 “Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you’ll be forever in the control of things you can’t give up.” – Andy Law

Pandora-Xbox-One-WC-640x479

Pandora now has an app for the Microsoft XBOX system.

Not really earth shaking…or is it?

Gaming is huge, which draws people to XBOX, and then XBOX provides them an entrée into movies, the web, and music.

Pandora uses Kinect to allow people to listen, vote, and change songs with just a gesture. So Pandora has now integrated themselves into yet another popular distribution channel. Have you heard the old story about finding a parade getting in front of it?

But both may soon be rendered obsolete as Virtual Reality achieves broad acceptance over the next five years.  Change is a fact of life.

My point here is to show how unimaginative and lame most of our radio apps are. Radio will not continue to succeed by being “good enough,” at a time when the life cycle of an app becomes shorter and shorter.  Let’s do something different that really intrigues the listener/consumer, and be prepared to understand that change is faster and more constant than ever.