A Missed Leadership Opportunity
This past September I watched the heartbreaking US Open women’s award ceremony. As a working mom, of course I would have loved to see Serena Williams win and show how powerful women can be. But my heart went out to Naomi Osaka, who was crying and apologizing for doing exactly what she had set out to do.
What struck me was that the US Open representatives were completely unprepared. They had no plan for the outcome they were faced with, were unable to shift gears and missed a real leadership moment. What if, instead of being flummoxed, they had taken a moment to quiet the crowd and say “What incredible abundance we have today. Serena, congratulations on playing an incredible tournament just one year after having a child. And Naomi, congratulations for carrying on the great tradition of the US Open and of sports, by showing up as a powerful emerging talent.”
Easy for me to play Monday morning quarterback, but it does have me thinking about the lesson here. If you lead a team, do you take a moment to step back and see the bigger picture when you experience disappointment? Do you consider ALL of the members on the team, not just your best performers? Are you aware of the dynamics that can blind you, and them, to what’s really going on? And, do you see the opportunity in an unexpected outcome?