Buried somewhere deep inside of me there is a golfer. At least there used to be. After yesterday afternoon, however, I am wondering if the golfer still exists.

Yesterday I picked up a club for the first time in a while. The results were predictable. Our score was not. I say our score because I was paired up with a friend of mine in a match against his son and his nephew. They challenged us on the first tee to a best ball duel. We ended up playing a decent round together and even won the match.

Our day on the links reminded me of several leadership principles.

1. The principle of rust. You can have talent in an area, be gifted, accomplished, and even experienced and still not perform up to your potential. How? Rust. “You don’t use it, you lose it!” I know people who are neglecting the development of one of their strengths. The neglect leads to rust and eventually the dream dies. If you want to maximize your gifts, you must use them often.

2. The principle of muscle memory – also called luck. Occasionally a person performs at a level that can fool him into thinking he is highly skilled. This happened to me a few years back. After years of hitting golf balls a couple of times a week, my family started to grow and my golf budget started to shrink. Therefore, I stopped playing. After a couple years away from the game a friend of mine invited me to go and play with him and his pastor. I am so glad I decided to go. On the 8th hole, that day, I had a hole in one. The fact is I wasn’t nearly as good a golfer at that time as I had been a few years before, but muscle memory kicked in for a single shot. By the end of the day it was one of the worst scores I ever recorded, but one of my favorite rounds because of the ace.

Leaders sometimes put their leadership on auto pilot and are able to survive based on knowledge and experience, rather than initiative and innovation. If you find yourself going through the motions, you are probably hurting your organization more than you are helping it. Knock off the rust and reengage.

3. The principle of teamwork. Yesterday my friend and I were able to help each other out. When one of us had a bad hole, hitting shots as if we had not picked up a club for the several months (i.e. ME), the other one (my friend) seemed to come through.

If you are going to be a successful leader, it will be because you choose to surround yourself with other gifted people. The right people. Find yourself a solid teammate and you will look a lot better than you really are.

There is an amazing leader buried inside of you. Your gift still exists. Today is a great day to knock of the rust and remember.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Which of the three above principles do you find the most challenging in your current role?

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Author: Randy

Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.