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

Friday I picked up a club for the first time in 11 months.  The results were predictable.  The score wasn’t.  It was 10 under par, 62.  Before you make any assumptions, I must confess I had help.  I played in a four man best-ball scramble.  Oh, and one more thing.  It wasn’t four men.  I had a little girl on my team.  Truthfully, she was our best player.  Annie is her name and she is a very talented junior golfer.

The day 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.  It was one of the worst scores I had ever shot, 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. The reason our score was decent on Friday was because we were able to help each other out.  When one of us hit a shot, as if we had not picked up a club for the past 11 months (i.e. ME), someone else seemed to pick them (ME) up with a good shot.

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 an Annie and you will look a lot better than you really are.

If you want to be a great leader then keep working at your craft, refuse to coast, and link up with other great people.

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



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