Cris Carter re leadership on Mike & Mike In the Morning

Don't assume your best leaders don't need your help.

It's your duty to professionally develop your best leaders.

This morning, Cris Carter (ESPN Analyst and ex NFL player- Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins) gave some observations on the Mike and Mike In The Morning show (ESPN) regarding Michael Vick. He said that Vick is much better and more mature as a quarterback now with the Philadelphia Eagles than when he played with the Atlanta Falcons.

Carter made the point that when Vick played for the Falcons the coaching staff basically left him alone to use the same quarterback skills that he had used when he excelled in college football. They didn’t change his playing style and he was successful with the Falcons.

In Philadelphia, Carter said, the coaching staff forced Vick to learn new skills. As a result, according to Carter, he is a more mature QB and is performing at a superior level.

Carter made the point that the skills that make someone standout in college football are not enough to make him a star in the NFL. Professional sports demand a much higher level of competencies and capabilities. (As I have often said, “as a leader, what got you here will not necessarily keep you here nor take you any further” ). Vick required someone to identify what he needed to do differently in order to take his game to a new level. It is significant that he accepted his need to change, and in fact went about making the changes.

It strikes me that this example highlights four critical requirements for leadership development:

  1. Have someone you respect and trust to point out where you can improve.
  2. Accept that this is a good thing to do in order to take your leadership game to a new level.
  3. Create and commit to a game plan to get there.
  4. Work with your boss, an executive coach, or a mentor to give you feedback, direction and help you make the changes you want and need.

Are you letting your best leaders down?

Are you assuming that since they are smart, resourceful, committed and have a good track record that they are above getting feedback or direction from you regarding how they can take their game to a new level. If so, you are doing them a disservice and shirking your role as a leader. You have a duty to proactively help each of your leaders to continually develop

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