Leadership is a rare commodity and we often confuse it to being a boss. There are leaders and there are exceptional leaders who don’t care about fame or any credits. I call them the platinum class of leadership. I have cited some examples, so let’s meet the platinum class of leadership.
“ Being a superstar is not the same thing as a super leader “ Sam Walker
All leaders have something in common.
You may think it’s charisma, or some inhuman level of talent. That’s what we have been conditioned to think and believe.
Actually great leaders fly under the radar and are easy to miss.
What is the secret sauce that creates ordinary people into incredible driving forces.
Let’s do a deep dive into psychological and behavioral insights into such individuals.
Are there myths surrounding such Platinum Class leadership and leaders?
It’s not obvious to find leaders around us and once we find them, we need to work with them.
Non verbal communication
Ask great basketball teams and all other great teams around the world as to why they were great.
- Is there must be a foundation level DNA that creates greatness in them and separates them from the rest?
- Why were some teams amazing for some years however they were not able to sustain.
- How do you hold on to greatness and stay that way?
- How do they stay together, create a culture a chemistry inside the team that can be relied and is repeatable.
Tipping point in the world of soccer
In 1952 England was the world’s ruling power in soccer, never lost to any country in the world for the last 80 years.
Scheduled a friendly match with an impoverished country called Hungary, at Wembley which was just coming out of its Marxist revolution.
So it was thought to be a pain inducing match for Hungary — getting trounced by the mighty English.
The odds were 500 to 1. They were tiny, had weird boots and horrible looking shirts.
The Hungarians scored a goal in 43 seconds and went on to destroy England in the match.
Sadly, the revolution back home was getting ugly and the team broke up and most players left Hungary.
Somehow the combination of the players created the magic of a super performance against a giant.
The parallels in your own business would be to reach your 5 year goals in the first year itself.
People are going to ask what did they do right for this stellar performance?
There was a sign of psychological domination by the Hungarians just before the match. The captain came on the field and started juggling the ball.
The arrival and departure of their success was their captain Ferik Puskas.
He was odd, overweight, couldn’t dribble with right leg, coached his own team and was prickly with the media.
He had a non verbal communication in the juggling which was a message to England to be prepared for what was about to come.
It was a psychological game and a strategic ops — they loved being underestimated.
The lesson is the importance of internal leadership.
They deflect attention
If a Frankenstein lab was given to us to create a great captain we would have chosen Messi or Beckham and not Puskas.
Messi and Beckham are people who are comfortable being a celebrity, diffuse tensions and are at ease of being given importance.
In one more example, the captain of the great Brazil Soccer team during the late 50s and 60s was never a famous or popular guy.
Same with Pele who never cared or aspired to be a captain ever.
Bellini was a central defender who never scored a goal, was again one of the below-the-radar guys and who was one of the best captains that Brazil ever had.
We have no idea what great leaders actually do.
When it comes to hiring a great leader it has to be obvious, he is one with the skills, talents abilities and charisma and is different from.the other team members. That’s so wrong!
Platinum Leadership plays solid defense
We expect that They should be easy to find.
- In fact great leaders are not easy to find.
They are better off to to be in the shadows a and take no individual attention.
They play relentless, practice open communication , have incredible emotion control, and possess very good non verbal communication skills.
The real leader in your organisation might not be the one who is participating and volunteering.
- He or she might be playing the defense, cost cutting and doing things that others won’t do.
- Offense sounds sexy but defense is solid.
Very seductive idea that organisation works better when it’s flat and it’s better to get rid of middle management. It’s passe.
During good times when the curve is sky wards we don’t see what’s going wrong.
When things go wrong the real leadership is needed, when the curve flattens or drips.
The executive leadership starts overworking and bringing strategies.
And the star talent starts polishing off their resumes doubting if this is going to work out.
- What we need in fact are people who don’t care about individual accomplishments
- Who are not flashy, not the face of the company
- They care about the collective and they rise with the fortunes of the group
- They push back things that won’t work for the team.
They understand both sides, what the management wants and the employee wants.
Coming up with alternate — we need to find such people, give them power and allow them to do their work autonomously.
When Boston Celtics kept losing Bill Russell did something called “Coleman Play” which wasn’t heard before in NBA history. It’s the most defensive play ever.
Sadly, there is no video of this match, only a description.
- You don’t see leadership when 4 quarter earnings are all well.
- You would find leaders until.you need them.
They would rise up on moment of despair and roughness. We need to have suh people who would show up during such times and without them it’s all over.
They are like the verb in a sentence, they are overlooked.
They are not sophisticated or sexy like the adjectives . Verbs hold everything together and shows forward motion.
- Great leaders including Bill Russell were all the same, they hated fame and being praised in public.
- Turned down hall of fame because it celebrated individual contribution as opposed to the unit.
- They are the ones who would stay back and let their teammates bask in all the glory.
- Turned down awards and stayed out of public eye like MS Dhoni does each time India wins
Or like Karla Overback 1999 US women’s hockey team captain who won the world cup.
They had great celebrations however she flew home after the team won the world cup.
She wasn’t in the victory parade and being the toast of the town.
What she was doing was laundry on that day!
Her ego was that the team won and she had nothing to do with the celebrations.
When you do a team interview the Platinum Class are always constantly deflecting credit to others and are uncomfortable being praised.
You might even think they aren’t leaders at all.
this blog was inspired by an interview hosted by Tony Robbins