Think about umpiring or refereeing a professional sport as it equates to management and leadership.
Author Bruce Weber put himself through Major League Umpire School, including actually umpiring a couple of spring training intra-squad games. Here is his take on what it takes to be an umpire- and maybe an effective leader (page 110 of the book):
“In the camp games I got glimpse of the umpire’s job from the inside and, from that perspective, recognized for the first time what a mass of contradictory qualities it required. Suddenly I understood how crucial it was to both relaxed and vigilant; to be both rigid enough not to shirk any responsibilities and flexible enough to adjust when a play took an unexpected turn; to know the rules backward and forward so as to be prepared for anything they cover and yet be ready to extemporize when the rulebook falls prescriptively short; to actually see and register what’s in front of you and simultaneously anticipate the immediate future; to be confident enough to hold the balance of the game in your hand and humble enough to avoid deciding it; to hold firm opinions and to keep your mouth shut; to remember baseball is just a game and to take it very seriously.”
Sounds like running a business, doesn’t it? Comments appreciated.