Monday, February 2, 2009

Both an architect and a plumber

Came across Reverend Richard Stazesky's 2000 presentation about the leadership ability of President George Washington.

In it, he describes how "visionary leaders" like President Washington are able to focus "simultaneously on two seemingly different configurations, yet to such a leader they are always inextricably related."

According to Rev. Stazesky, effective leaders not only see the "big picture," but also see the little deals. They're able to lay out the strategy, but can also develop the tactics.

They not only set goals, but outline the objectives necessary to reach those goals. They understand theory, but also know how to apply the theory.

As Reverend Stazesky puts it, these leaders are at once the architect and the plumber.

In a time when some preach the "coach as CEO" model, Rev. Stazesky makes a strong argument for balancing a hands-off and hands-on approach to coaching.

In fact, just last month, in an effort to shore up his team's defense, Bears coach Lovie Smith pledged to take "a more hands-on approach."

Clearly, the head coach can't do it all. Having a talented, trustworthy staff is critical. But it's possible (and important) for the head coach to be involved and engaged without micromanaging.