The spotlight of this debate is a quarterback who has been in the NFL for 2 years. His critics say he cannot throw the football. Yet his ardent followers say his innate leadership qualities and a will to win overshadow his technical skill deficiencies.
We agree with Jim Collins, to succeed, "an organization must get the right people on the bus and in the right seats," However, leadership requires certain soft skills that we believe can be taught.
Kouzes and Pozner, in their book, The Leadership Challenge, identify 5 qualities of exemplary leaders.
Lets go back to our young quarterback to see if Kouzes' and Posner's qualities are present in the young athlete.
- Model the Way- Does giving 110% on every play meet Kouzes' and Posner's criteria?
- Inspire A Shared Vision- Does inspiring his teammates and fans that victory is possible, no matter the circumstances, meet Kouzes' and Posner's criteria?
- Challenge the Process- Does turning the assumptions that drive the modern game of American football on its head, meet Kouzes' and Posner's criteria?
- Enable Others to Act- Does the read-option put the power to enable his teammates in the young quarterback's hands? Does this meet Kouzes' and Posner's criteria?
- Encourage the Heart- Does the young quarterback's passion for the game, meet Kouzes' and Posner's criteria?
Must they have all the technical skills that their followers and team possess? Or rather, can they learn a model of leadership that will enable any organization to thrive regardless of the leaders technical know how?
Conversely, does promoting technically great individual contributors or managers to positions of leadership, present great challenges, without proven leadership training?