Voting Responsibly…

Legendary college football coach, Bobby Bowden, once talked of how he encouraged participation from his assistant coaches. Bowden let them know that all nine coaches had a vote in how things should be done on the team… And then he let them know that his vote… counted for 10 votes. This example has some great lessons for leaders and support staff alike. First of all, a leader should develop trustworthy advisors to help him/her navigate through the many situations that require expertise that he/she may not necessarily have (humble leaders will recognize that they do not know everything). A leader should use the information and wisdom gleaned from advisors to formulate plans and make decisions. But, at the end of the day, the leader must own whatever decision is made, regardless of whether it was the correct one or not. Those in supporting roles in an organization have a lesson here as well. You may disagree with a decision that’s being made by your leader. Even if your “vote” was not heard as loudly as you may have liked — at the end of the day — it is your responsibility to make your leader successful. Sometimes that means supporting him/her even when you feel as if the wrong decision has been made. That’s what makes a good supporting cast. Because after all, before learning to be a great leader, you have to learn how to follow. So, leaders and supporting staff alike both have a responsibility to “vote responsibly.”

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