Bounce back better

This afternoon I tuned into one of Washington University's annual Leadership Perspectives series events: "6 Executives. 60 Ideas. 60 Minutes." It's up on YouTube already.

There were six speakers, but the one whose presentation stuck with me the most was  Patricia Washington, VP of Communications for the Urban League of St. Louis. I suspect that's because that her list of 10 leadership ideas was full of sports metaphors—I speak that language, too.

Her part of the presentation starts at ~59:00. Here's her list:

  1. Bounce back better
  2. You can't coach height
  3. Million dollar moves and a nickel finish
  4. Be humble
  5. Be the last one in the room
  6. Embrace other cultures
  7. Know when to leave
  8. Forgiveness is an asset
  9. Be resourceful
  10. Saving face

I'm not going to roll through them all. That's her show—watch her talk about them. The first one was the one that reeled me in. Bounce back. Her metaphor was of a basketball player, making a turnover on offense, then committing the fatal error: not hustling back to defense and then giving up a play on that side. The first is a mistake, but the second is an abomination.

Pick your favorite sport and it has its own version of that scenario. Perhaps baseball is the best for this because there are so many opportunities pitch-to-pitch to commit an error or swing-and-miss—often followed by a fresh, new chance. In the game the coach will tell you to have a "short memory" after you miss something. If you're still thinking about the last pitch you missed, or if the feeling you got after missing it is still there, your chances aren't good for the next one. Confidence—or its absence—compounds.

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