If someone were to ask if everyone should be a leader the answer would be yes. Yes? If everyone’s a leader then who is supposed to follow them? I mean you can’t have a bunch of Generals in the army can you? Everyone can’t play quarterback.
The Chicago Bulls had arguably the best team in NBA history. It was led by Michael Jordan. Between 1991 and 1998 the Bulls won an incredible feat of six national championships, winning in 1991, 1992, and 1993 then again in 1996, 1997, and 1998. It was very clear. Michael Jordan was the leader. He was the man. Everyone followed his lead.
During the seasons between his two 3-peats he tried a short stint in professional baseball. This was a man who was an obvious winner and person used to leading teams to the top moving over to a different sport. The only problem was he didn’t do well in baseball. Don’t get me wrong, he is an incredible athlete and was able to compete at that level, but he wasn’t as strong as he was in basketball. In fact he was moved down to the minor leagues in Birmingham, Al.
So if he could lead a team undisputed to three straight championships in one arena, why couldn’t he do the same thing in the other? It’s simple. Leadership follows core competencies! Michael Jordan strengths weren’t baseball. He was good, but there were people on the team who were better.
Imagine it is the seventh inning stretch and the team down by two runs. They huddle up to select a game plan and who do they look to as that “go to guy”? Is it Jordan? Absolutely not! He’s not the catalyst in this situation. Would he step up if he needed to? Yes. But there are stronger baseball leaders on the team. So as good leaders do, he follows when someone else is stronger.
Good leaders know how to follow when others are stronger in a particular field. Leadership is about working with the strengths of a team as a whole. The strongest takes the lead. Does that mean you have to have the most talent or skill? No, it just means in order to lead; you must be the strongest for the team. A General of an army isn’t and is rarely ever the best warrior, but he is the strongest for the group.
Leadership always follows core competencies. Working with situational leadership is the key to success for any team.
Would you want Charles Barkley leading your basketball team or your golf team?