Friday, September 10, 2010

Are You a Franchise Player?

We can learn a great deal from athletes in team sports about leadership, especially from Franchise Players, those exceptional players around whom teams are built. At times, the lesson may be negative, when the Franchise Player excels as an individual but does not necessarily drive the team to victory.

A positive model of leadership was provided by Oscar Robertson, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and a 12-time NBA All-Star. Here is what he wrote in an Op-Ed article in the New York Times on February 18, 2006.

"My philosophy was always to make the weakest link stronger, and create scoring opportunities for everyone. When you're asking guys to battle for rebounds and play tough defense, you have to involve them in the offense as well."

In my coaching practice, I share this message with the Franchise Players who want to build on their outstanding individual skills to become strong leaders. The approach works on the basketball court and in the work place.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do You Know How Good You Are?

There is a big difference between being cocky and being confident in your talents and expertise. Unfortunately, this distinction is lost on many of the highly intelligent and accomplished women I work with as an executive coach. The reasoning seems to be "if I can do it, how hard can it be?"

This mind-set can be self-defeating in at least two ways. It blocks legitimate efforts to advance your career by letting people know all the amazing things you do. It also leads to setting unrealistic expectations for co-workers, who often don't measure up. The result may be frustration and unproductive working relationships.

So how do you answer the question "how good am I?" Look at the facts about your accomplishments. Check in with your mentors. Take the praise and honors you receive to heart. Believe in yourself!