Leaders Learn Lessons

I’m a big college football fan.  I regularly listen to the ESPN College Football podcast though I am way behind, so I’m getting ready for the season by catching up from May through today.  I just listened to Ivan Maisel talking about a trip he took to visit the troops in the Middle East with big time football coaches Tommy Tubberville from Auburn, Mark Richt from Georgia, Randy Shannon from Miami, Charlie Weiss from Notre Dame and Jack Siedlecki of Yale.

Many of the soldiers are big fans and will get up early to watch the live broadcasts.  The coaches brought tons of souvenirs and according to Maisel one soldier commented, “I can’t believe you’re spending so much time talking to us.”

It sounded like a great trip, and one lesson really jumped out for me.  Maisel was talking about a Q and A session the coaches held with a group of soldiers.  Instead of asking about the upcoming season the vast majority of the questions were about leadership and specifics about leading young people in a stressful environment.

Obviously these coaches are world class leaders.  Just as obvious is that the soldiers they spoke to are world class acheivers.  When given the opportunity to interact with significant leaders, high achievers will pick their brains.  They know that they can learn something from every person they meet, and when they have a chance to talk to high acheivers it’s a special opportunity to learn as much as they can.

The key is to be prepared.  Know what you want to know, think about your areas of difficulty, and formulate questions before you have an opportunity to ask them.  And, if you know ahead of time you’re going to have some one-on-one time with a high achiever do some research so you can best take advantage of your opportunity.

One of the differences between high achievers and the average guy is preparation and making the most out of opportunities.

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One Response to “Leaders Learn Lessons”

  1. collegefootballtopten.com » Blog Archive » Top Ten 2008 Offseason Stories: Part 1 Says:

    […] and they even got to meet the Commander In Chief when they returned.  The Coaches Tour was a great experience for both the coaches and the […]

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