Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Location

For various reasons this blog has moved. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review of High Calling newsletter

Just a quick suggestion that you check out the High Calling newsletter each week - http://bit.ly/highcalling. The newsletter features a one minute audio/video message from Howard Butt, Jr, that challenges a person about the value of their daily work with an interesting story. They are short clips, yet positive and commendable! Various written articles are also available.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leadership Lessons from the 2012 Toronto Argonauts

A couple years ago, nobody would have considered an such an article title... unless it was going to be a how NOT to discussion. Today, Leadership Lessons from the 2012 Toronto Argonauts - the Grey Cup Champions, no less, is an intriguing case study.

Before reading my leadership reflections, you may want to read Cam Cole's report: Argos Stole this Grey Cup last year.

1) You need stability at the top - Ricky Ray is not flashy, but he is solid, good and a veteran leader. The Argos "stole" Ray from the Edmonton Eskimos and he was an excellent quarterback for them all season long including the three playoff games. In the CFL, the quarterback is the key position and the Argos had a steady, stable and effective leader for their offense.

2) You need great co-leaders - Scott Milanovich did a great job as a first year head coach, yet GM Jim Barker probably made Milanovich look especially good when he hired defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones away from the Calgary Stampeders last summer. Jones' record as a defensive coach in Grey Cup appearances is stunning (three years with Montreal, two Grey Cup appearances, four years with Calgary leading to two Grey Cup appearances, and one more this year in Toronto). A great team needs great VP's.

3) Make the tough calls - about four weeks into the season, the Argos decided to part ways with RB Cory Boyd. Along with eventual league MVP Chad Owens, the Argos seemed to have a super tandem in the backfield, and yet for mysterious reasons, they let Boyd go (to Edmonton) and stuck with Chad Kackert. Who? At the time, the tank-sized Kackert looked like a good blocking back which would probably mean that Owens would be the pre-dominant ball carrier. Observers speculated there weren't enough footballs to go around for Ray, Owens & Boyd. However, Milanovich let people speculate and simply said, "We're comfortable with Owens and Kackert in the backfield. Milanovich looks brilliant as Owens won the league MVP setting a new record for all-purpose yardage and Kackert won the Grey Cup MVP. Sometimes a leader's gotta make the tough calls that will be misunderstood and doubted.

4) Be comfortable in the background - As I was thinking about these different factors even before the game yesterday, I began to wonder, who is the GM in Toronto. During the game, they showed Jim Barker's face and title and I went "Oh yeah. Right." The Jim Barker I remember, especially from his time in Calgary, was loud and not afraid to draw attention to himself. Perhaps the same was true in Toronto, but I don't recall hearing much about him during the days and months leading up to the Grey Cup (which is rather surprising in itself, considering Barker's "flair," Toronto being the centre of the universe, and having no hockey to dim the media spotlight in Toronto). Maybe, the "mastermind" behind this whole plan finally felt comfortable letting the coach's and players do the talking and let himself be comfortable behind the scenes as the conductor of the orchestra. ARRRRR-GOOOOOOOS never sounded better than it does today!