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The scores were level as the two teams went into their three-quarter time huddles.

Coach Jack launched into a ferocious tirade.

He had the vein sticking out of the side of his head as he lambasted his side, swearing at them, screaming at them and embarrassing individuals for their lack of skill and effort.

Coach Bob walked up to his team with a quiet authority.

He was clear in his direction as he taught, instructed and coached his side.  He knew that this was another great opportunity to pass on information and continue the process of learning.

The two teams went back out and Jack’s team, with their coach’s stinging words still in their ears, went on to win a close tussle.

Who’s the better leader?  Jack or Bob?

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I turn 40 this year, so I think that qualifies me to use the phrase, “When I was young.”

When I was young, you could only buy three flavours of ice-cream, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.  If you were feeling adventurous, you could buy all three in one tub called Neapolitan.

When I was young, there were no mobile phones (yes that’s right, there was a time), so everyone had land-lines that all sounded the same when they rang.

How things have changed, for the better in my opinion.

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Angling with a rod.

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure that you’ve heard the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he’ll have food for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll have food for a lifetime.”

It’s a terrific principle when working with people living in poverty and trying to assist them to get back on their feet.

It’s also a key principle to be conscious of when leading people.

If you want a successful organisation or enterprise, equipping people for a day won’t help you much.

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There are times in life and leadership when things go well and when they don’t go quite so well.

If you’re a leader, your long-term credibility can depend on how you respond to these times.

Jim Collins uses the analogy of windows and mirrors in his book “Good to Great” to describe how leaders should be responding to good times and bad.

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There are two kinds of people in the world.

Those who read the manual and those who write it.

There are those who look to comply and do what they’re told and those who lead the way, driving change and innovation.

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If you’re a leader, there’s a reason why you’re a leader.

You are meant to lead, to make decisions, to cast vision, to take responsibility.

There’s a dilemma that I see many leaders caught up in.

We are told to listen, to be collaborative and to get others involved in the decision-making process.

Sounds good and I agree.  But there’s a limit.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog!

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Ever since Moses came down from Mt Sinai with the original 10 commandments in the Old Testament, people have had a fascination with top 10 lists.

As I’ve been musing on leadership principles recently, I’ve come up with my own 10 commandments of leadership. 

Of course, leadership is more complex and challenging than what you can fit into a list of 10 principles, but I hope that this is a good place to start that will get you thinking about how you can further develop your leadership capability.

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Chicago Bulls. Michael Jordan 1997

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a boyhood dream.

The clock is running down, the game is close and you have the ball.  This is the moment when heroes are made.  Taking the big shot in basketball, stepping up to take the penalty in a football shoot-out or lining up for goal after a big pack mark in Aussie rules.

Do you shoot, pass or panic?

Do you have what it takes?

Do you even want to be there?

What do you think winners want?

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I love the English language, but sometimes a word comes along in another language that says it so much better.

“Sprezzatura” is an Italian word meaning ease of manner, studied carelessness or the appearance of acting without effort.

What a great word and a terrific concept.

It brings to mind a swan on a lake, smooth and graceful on the surface, but paddling hard underneath.

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Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) was the legendary American Football coach who led the Green Bay Packers to victory at the first two Super Bowls.

The impact that he had on his sport left such a legacy that in 1971, the NFL named their Super Bowl trophy after him.

I stumbled across a few of his quotes a few years ago when researching for a presentation and since then have consistently returned to them for inspiration.

Here are my four favourite Vince Lombardi quotes:

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