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Issue 615 - "Good Intentions-Bad Results" (Liz Wiseman and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 615
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Liz Wiseman is a bestselling author, researcher, and elite leadership coach. In her New York Times bestseller, Multipliers: she researched over 150 leaders worldwide.
In her book, Wiseman describes how a leader can have the good intention of leading by example but gets a bad result by getting too carried away (off balance). She refers to this leader as a "Pacesetter". She wrote:
"A pacesetter is the achievement-oriented leader who leads by example. To build momentum, she personally sets the standard for performance.
She takes the lead, sets the pace, and expects that the people around her will notice, follow, and, of course, catch up. What actually happens when the leader speeds out ahead?
People take notice. They catch on, but they rarely catch up. Instead of increasing their own pace, they most often assume the role of spectator, watching the Pacesetter do her thing. While she is expecting her staff to speed up, they are actually slowing down or sitting down.
I’ve seen this many times in the workplace but have learned it most poignantly in a footrace against an eight-year-old. For most of his second-grade year of school, my son Joshua insisted we race to the bus stop each day. I made sure to let him win or to make it a close, rousing competition.
Every now and then I would take off running at full speed and easily beat him to the bus stop. Looking back, I would see that he had stopped running and was now walking. When he arrived at the bus stop, he would say, "We weren’t racing that time." Every time I raced out in front, creating a gap too big for him to close, the same scene ensued.
As leaders, sometimes the faster we run, the slower others walk."
Coach Wooden set a fast pace at his practices but he made sure it was a pace the players kept up with. He did not leave the players standing around watching him.
Are those you lead joining you in the race or just watching you run?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



The First Steps

Last night I held my arms to you
And you held yours to mine
And started out to march to me
As any soldier fine.
You lifted up your little feet
And laughingly advanced;
And I stood there and gazed upon
Your first wee steps, entranced.

You gooed and gurgled as you came
Without a sign of fear;
As though you knew, your journey o'er,
I'd greet you with a cheer.
And, what is more, you seemed to know,
Although you are so small,
That I was there, with eager arms,
To save you from a fall.

Three tiny steps you took, and then,
Disaster and dismay!
Your over-confidence had led
Your little feet astray.
You did not see what we could see
Nor fear what us alarms;
You stumbled, but ere you could fall
I caught you in my arms.

You little tyke, in days to come
You'll bravely walk alone,
And you may have to wander paths
Where dangers lurk unknown.
And, Oh, I pray that then, as now,
When accidents befall
You'll still remember that I'm near
To save you from a fall.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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