BLG Leadership Insights Leadership On the Edge

10 Must-Read Social Media & Leadership Stories From July 5-9

1. 11 ‘tragic’ behaviors leaders should probably certainty unlearn.

2. Here’s your que to breath a sigh of relief: Maybe you don’t need a social media strategy.

3. Leadership and life evaluation from Bill Murry’s unique perspective.

4. Learning some compelling HR pointers from a soccer club in the Netherlands.

5. Key steps leaders can take to avoid becoming irrelevant.

6. Interesting examples of good, bad, and ugly corporate social media strategies.

7. 4 solid lessons from entrepreneurs who made it in college.

8. The story behind 15 great companies and how they named themselves.

9. America’s distant relationship with soccer and the World Cup.

10. The odd time-line of a brand’s legacy: The Popsicle.

BLG Leadership Insights Leadership On the Edge

10 Must-Read Social Media & Leadership Stories From June 21-25

1. Here’s some good advice: Be awesome at work everyday.

2. The most important leadership trait that you recognize, but often avoid.

3. Involved discussion on the future of publishing in the age of the iPad, the Kindle, and the Nook.

4. Leadership challenges and green hurdles in the hospitality business.

5. The business of fashion leadership. Uniqlo poised to take over the clothing retailer world.

6. How to conquer unproductivity and start getting things done.

7. Lifestyles of some of the world’s worst leaders dictators.

8. Meet your new co-worker, it’s a robot.

9. Leadership cartoon: How running your family like a business is a bad idea.

10. Youtube, in a nod to the 2010 World Cup, gets a Vuvuzela button.

Picture Credit: Veen

BLG Leadership Insights

10 Must-Read Social Media & Leadership Stories From June 7-11

1. 5 helpful steps to re-energize your leadership.

2. Twitter is playing a hand in…South Korea’s election.

3. The 2010 World Cup is finally here. Leaders can learn a few things.

4. Lessons leaders can learn from the BP oil spill.

5. Stalin is making a comeback.

6. Is the price of college worth it? Great New Yorker article.

7. 5 no-nonsense suggestions for surviving corporate calamities.

8. Smartphones may not be as private as you think.

9. England and the thirteen colonies face-off again.

10. The (unofficial) history of the business card.

BLG Leadership Insights

What Soccer Captains Can Teach Us About Leadership vs. Management

Albert Camus once said, “All I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football.” (The Algerian-born writer was, of course, referring to what we call soccer) If 22 people running between two nets with a ball can speak to Camus on a broard philosophical level I think I can earnestly say without the fear of looking simple that soccer has taught me the basics of leadership.

Soccer captains, the individuals elected to wear the yellow arm band on a team, are primarily responsible for translating the vitriolic emotions of their colleagues to the referee. They are also charged with deciding what role each player will adopt in set plays, arranging off-the-cuff defensive patterns, and keeping everyone motivated.

A captain isn’t necessarily the best player on the team. Instead, captains are diligent, emotionally strong athletes that spark action and loathe laziness. They are hard working players with work-a-day skills who lead by example.

Captains are analogues to organizational mangers if we use the language of Warren Bennis. Bennis states, “The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.” Indeed, soccer captains energize specific games and circumstances. They leave long term strategies to club owners and coaches. Captains are the dyed-in-the-wool, in the moment, leaders. They are sources of calm and composure under duress.

Captains act as intermediaries between visionary coaches and team mates. They ask, in Bennis’ phraseology, how and when and let the club owners ask what and why.

That captains exist and can be instrumental to a team’s success should teach leaders a very important lesson: managers and the strategies they employ can motivate teams quickly and effectively

Bobby Moore (1941-1993) was the youngest captain of the English national team. He would eventually help his country win the World Cup in 1966. Famed English soccer writer Paul Gardner, writes, “No wonder they made him England’s captain at 22, everyone he played with had a story about his coolness.” Gardner wasn’t speaking about his popularity, but rather Moore’s ability to keep calm “under fire.”

Moore was able to be a source of calm for his team and it helped produce results. Moore wasn’t creating new visions or supplying his teammates with detailed plans. He was making what he loved to do look easy, stress-free, and, more importantly, fun.

Good leaders can be a source of forward looking visions, but they can also take a page from a captain’s or manager’s play book. They can work hard and set examples to follow, display calm, and provide reassurance.

Regardless of how or where you draw the distinction between leader and manager soccer captains prove that good leadership stems from hard work, getting dirty, and keeping collected under fire. You don’t just need a yellow arm band to manage.

Picture Credit: Flawka