Character – A Greater Victory

This is a guest post by Dr. Jack King (@DrJackKing) of The Northfork Center for Servant Leadership. Jack has been a great friend and supporter on LinkedIn and Twitter.  Don't miss this great post and video.

“It’s a great moment when someone has character to step up and do the right thing, at the right time.”
~Pam Knox, Head Coach, Western Oregon

We all know leadership when we see it. The problem for most of us is this: we expect leadership greatness to look something like a CEO, the Chairman of the Board, or the President. We have somehow come to a place where leadership is commensurate with graybeards waxing long on the wisdom of the ages.

You are invited to view a clip that’s proof positive leadership is anything but old people (mostly men) telling everyone else what to do. You see, leadership never was about power, position, perks, prestige, or privilege. Instead, it’s always been about people, and it has always manifested itself as someone of character. Anne Frank said, "Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.”

Mallory Holtman, the conference home run king, embodies this goodness. Her Central Washington softball team is behind in the second game of a double-header in a quest for the conference championship. As you may guess, there’s a lot at stake. Every decision matters, especially with their opponent at bat. On the second pitch in the top of the second inning of the second game with two runners on, Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky hits her first career home run. But there’s a problem. Only a true leader will do what Mallory does next.

Mallory and her Central Washington team went on to lose the game that day. But what they found will carry them — and all of the graybeards who realize just how much they have to learn from young & emerging leaders like Mallory — through a lifetime: leadership is love.

The next time we go looking for leadership, let us remember leadership without love is no leadership at all.