Building Community Through Better Relationships

Leading, Serving and Spoiling


A kid wants ice cream for dinner. Dad says it’s OK. He’s only a boy once. He can eat vegetables and grilled skinless chicken tomorrow. But, tomorrow brings a bigger outburst resulting in more ice cream. The next day is fast food after a late school event. Very soon the kid has obesity issues and subsequent social challenges. And, it all started because ice cream for dinner “is not that bad”. Lack of discipline and accountability, that is what was so bad!

In a business, the organization is an entity to itself. The entity has members and leaders. Leaders are often financially, socially and emotionally invested in the organization’s success. But, the leader is fundamentally a member of the organization and separate from it. In operating a team to lead the organization, it is unhealthy for the needs of one founder, one leader, one stakeholder to supersede the needs of the entity. All leaders must have a contributing role and be held accountable to fulfilling those responsibilities. Dysfunctional leadership that caters to one individual’s specific whims are vulnerable to setting priorities that fundamentally inhibit the organization. “The founder deserves a bigger bonus despite our cash crunch because of all he has done for the organization.” Or, “Let’s approve funding the CEO’s pet project because his ego is so invested, despite that all market research points to the confirmed death of that market.” Coach Tom Landry described, “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Placating a spoiled founder helps no one in the short run, nor the long run for that matter. It simply demonstrates that true leadership failed!

Organizationally, collaboration maximizes value. Several people aligned toward a common goal can do more than one person performing at maximum effort, or many people working hard individually. Effective organizations rely on coordinating efforts such that all contributors have a role and the obligation to perform it. When one individual overrules the group in performing its duty, the dysfunction poisons other leaders, and then other contributors. The organizational dynamics must be in place for correction and clarity. If Dad continues to serve the kid ice cream for dinner, then Mom needs the authority to remind both of them that healthy food choices are a family priority. Let the kid cry. Do the right thing! As leaders, proper stewardship requires making the most intelligent and practical decisions possible to maximize the performance of the entire team’s objectives.

Maximum productivity is most probable when an organization’s leadership prioritizes the value of the entire entity. Of course, leaders have egos. They have agendas. They have personal biases. They also have a responsibility to serving the entire entity. This responsibility includes nourishing, cultivating and maturing the total organization, not just the first among equals. Leaders must lead. Teams better cooperate. The competitive marketplace is hard enough to defeat without internal egos siphoning energy and creating obstacles from inside the organization. Ultimately, the choice is simple. Leaders can work together for the entity’s greater good or they can placate privileged parties while presiding over inevitable failure.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC


March 6, 2016 - Posted by | Better Business | , , , ,

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