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Confidence Archives, Page 1 of 1
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Oct26
Top Ten Leadership Skills
It was no surprise to me that in a recent survey that asked what skills or traits are most important for effective leadership, integrity and ethics came out near the top. Given the recent corporate scandals and dismal ethical record of many business and government leaders, the trait of integrity is and should be at the top of every leaders mind.

The survey was conducted and published by the Center for Creative Leadership. Results showed that the majority of respondents overwhelmingly indicated that "ethics/integrity" (60%) and "interpersonal openness/relationship building" (61%) were the most important skills for leaders today.

  1. interpersonal openness/relationship building (61%)
  2. ethics/integrity (60%)
  3. Organizational skills (31%)
  4. Commitment (30%)
  5. Positive attitude/optimism (28%)
  6. Decisiveness (27%)
  7. Technical skills or knowledge (26%)
  8. Persuasion /negotiation (23%)
  9. Confidence (16%)
  10. Patience (6%)
leadership skills graph.jpg
Jun21
Pat Riley's Leadership Brings Championship to Miami

Midway through the fourth quarter of game three of the NBA Finals, it looked as if the Miami Heat were finished. The Dallas Mavericks led by 13 points and the Heat appeared to be playing at their best. The Mavericks had already vanquished the Heat in games one and two.

I would guess that it looked like the end of the season to everyone except Heat Coach Pat Riley. I could not read Coach Riley’s thoughtsPat Riley.jpg but as he stood on the sideline, he appeared to be his calm yet determined self. And I wondered, what does he say to his team in this timeout? He has been in so many big games; can he do something in this desperate situation? Is he disappointed or frustrated enough to accept this defeat? How would being swept by Dallas affect Riley’s coaching career?

We may never know many of the answers to these questions because Riley did not let it happen. Instead in the final six minutes of that game, he inspired the Heat’s odd collection of misfit veterans and wunderkind and Finals MVP Dwayne Wade to eke out a win. It was as if Riley magically transfused the energy from Dallas players into the Heat players. The Heat went on to win three more (four consecutive NBA Finals games), becoming only the third team in league history to win despite an 0-2 deficit.

Riley has indeed a magical way of inspiring and leading. Could his job be harder? How do you motivate and inspire millionaires, egomaniacs - players that seem to have everything and need nothing? How do you bring together players that Mike Wise from the Washington Post fondly called resurrected "Reprobates," "former knuckleheads" and a "second-chance club." What are the leadership tools Riley could use? 

Continue Reading
Apr19
Leadership from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
I spent several hours exploring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Monday. I enjoyed it immensely as did my three boys.

I found inspiration in many places and saw several examples of leadership. Here are some of the things I learned about people that mattered and the their impact on America’s favorite pastime:

Confidence - Babe Ruth was not just a great pitcher and hitter, he essentially changed the way baseball was played. Home runs were hardly a part of the game in 1914 when Ruth entered the major leagues. He led the league in home runs in 1918 with 11 homers, 29 in 1919 and 54 in 1920. That is some growth rate. In 1927, he hit 60 home runs in a 154-game season. That year his personal HR total accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League. In today’s game, a player would need to hit more than 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total homerun output. He was a superstar. The game would never be the same.

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

Character - Jackie Robinson retired from baseball after ten seasons when he wasJackie HOF.JPG traded to cross-town rival the New York Giants. It wasn’t about money or fame for Robinson. He could have found both if he would have played another 10 seasons. He didn’t want to be treated as chattel. He had fought too hard as a player and activist to be treated like property. His retirement was graceful. He did not make a stink about it. He simply did not want to play for another team. So he quietly left the game that he had done so much for.

"A life is not important," he said, "except in the impact it has on other lives."

Innovation - Branch Rickey changed baseball through two profound innovations as a baseball executive. In 1947 he brokeRickey HOF.JPG baseball's color barrier by signing the African-American player Jackie Robinson to a major league contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The decision was landmark – not just in sports. Robinson's major league debut preceded a US military desegregation by a year and came seven years before the Supreme Court ruled desegregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Rickey also created the framework to the modern minor league farm system and developed the first full-time spring training facility and utilized now commonplace tools such as the batting cage, pitching machines, and batting helmets.


“It is not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind”

Vision - Charles Isham Taylor was a leader in developing opportunities forIC Taylor HOF.JPG African-American baseball players, teams and leagues. “CI” served in the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and attended college at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia – unlikely events for an African-American at the turn of the century. He started the first black professional baseball team in 1904 in Birmingham, Alabama, recruiting from Southern colleges. Ten years later he became half-owner and manager of the Indianapolis ABC's s and was a co-founder and vice president of the Negro National League.

Then I just had fun with my family looking at the great memorabilia.

Confidence Archives, Page 1 of 1
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