Years ago Ford Motor Company sponsored a football competition for young boys called Punt, Pass and Kick. Well, today, I am writing about “Run, Pass or Kick?” There are several offensive ways to score in football. You can run with the ball or pass the ball across the goal line. You can also kick the ball through the uprights of the goalpost. Now to be sure, kicking the ball scores fewer points than the other two methods. However, the end result is the same; they all score points! And, they all are the result of forward movement.
So, what does this have to do with leadership? Like football, leadership is about moving forward. Just as one team prefers to run while another team prefers to pass, there are different ways of moving forward in order to fulfill your goal and vision. In other words, when it comes to leadership, one size does not fit all! Some leaders are good at running. Others leaders prefer to throw the ball short distances while other leaders and teams like the big risk of throwing the long-ball! And, other leaders are outstanding at kicking field goals.
There are many styles of leadership. And just as a football coach has to have more than just short pass plays in his book, leaders have to be able to call more than one play and operate in numerous styles. Every leader has his or her preferred style, but differing stages of an organization’s life and different challenges call for differing styles of leadership. For example, the style that is needed to birth a company or organization is different than what is needed for an organization that is 75 years old. When fire destroys your facility, you will need to operate in a different mode of leadership than when you had a strong, sturdy building. In times of financial crisis, you will need to lead differently than the way you lead in times of financial stability and prosperity. So, as a leader, it is important to know when and how to run, pass or kick. Do you have all three types of plays in your playbook? Are you willing to change your game plan if running the ball does not result in forward movement? Remember, as the leader, it is your decision as to whether your team runs, passes or kicks!