Although I love sports, I make it a point to not get overly emotional about them. There are more important issues at the end of the day, right?

Last night was a bit of an exception.

Sports can teach you a lot about life…if you choose to see it that way.

See, last night the Minnesota Timberwolves (a struggling franchise for many, many years) had a 26-point lead in a playoff game and lost the lead…TWICE. Oh yeah, they were also playing at home.

I’m not going to criticize any one person or player but it brought to mind a concept I talk about in every leadership training I do: Appointed Leadership vs. Emergent Leadership.

A short passage from my leadership book…

A title of “boss, teacher, captain, etc.,” is only something that can be appointed by someone else. In the grand scheme of leadership, it means next-to-nothing. It may put you in the position to influence, but it’s not the reason it happens. It’s insufficient.

True leadership happens everyday when a person, with or without an appointed title, emerges from the pack and becomes the one others seek to follow. It can be in the boardroom, classroom, locker room or Zoom room. It unfolds the same way.

This leader rarely needs to speak the loudest; their voice is easily heard. They are the ones people turn to when there’s conflict, pressure, change, turmoil. They may not have the biggest office, but they have the biggest impact.

Their aura breathes confidence and certainty. We’ve got this.

I’m endlessly fascinated by emergent leaders. Every successful business, family and sports team has one (or many). They are simply willing to:

1 – Take the “ball” when everything and/or everyone around them seems to be melting down

2 – Accept total responsibility for the outcome, good or bad

If you’re reading this, I’m positive you’re an emergent leader. It’s a privileged position and not everyone can do it. I just wish the Timberwolves had one, too 🙂

Keep Outperforming,