03 Sep 2019
September 3, 2019


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A Lesson in Personal Leadership

Several years ago, as I delved deeper into my own personal leadership journey, I was introduced to a formula by John Maxwell which I observed play out in dramatic fashion earlier this week. Becoming a leader begins with the ability to lead oneself therefore the formula E+R=O is a critical component in the development of any individual and a cornerstone of their leadership journey. The formula, E+R=O is simply Event plus your Response to it will equal the Outcome.

The event unfolded during a recreational lacrosse tournament where the majority of participants are between the ages of 30 and 60, their glory days of the sport well behind them. Two players ( “A” and “B”) jostled for position, exchanged some verbal trash and eventually came to blows. Both players were ejected from the contest and sent off to their corresponding dressing rooms. As the players left the playing area they proceeded on a trajectory where eventually they would cross paths. Further words were exchanged, a crowd began to gather when SUDDENLY Player “A” was viciously bodychecked, tackled or body-slammed from his blind side. As he was standing a few feet from the wall the sheer force of the blow sent him careening into the bricks and ultimately earned him a trip to the hospital with a neck/head injury. The bodychecker turned out to be a teammate of Player “B”, his older brother actually, who ran from the players area to get involved in the incident.

There are a number of issues with the entire scenario, least of all player security, however most importantly is the lesson in personal leadership. What were you thinking man! I know you personally. You are in a management position, a husband, a father of two and if you can’t lead yourself how can you possibly lead others? What message did this act send to your family, friends, teammates and opponents? This players response to an event led to an outcome that included a potentially serious injury, criminal charges and potentially civil litigation. This was an emotional response to an event in which had he taken the time to consider the consequences, he may not have started on this particular path.

Long term thinking, consequences, emotion, self-control are all absent from this leadership scenario and is a very good example of the E+R=O formula that I was introduced to me so many years ago.

W.E. (Bill) Brydon