Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

The Captain of the Kickball Team

The captain of the kickball team always seems like a random choice.

But the captain of the kickball team is given all the power.

She chooses who belongs first. She wields the power of the final choice. Who gets picked last.

The first picks are friends. The quality of kickball play is not really taken into consideration. Who do I like? That's who I pick.

In playground logic, the last kid is often least liked - and least able to play kickball.

For the uncoordinated kid who's body is too large for his brain to handle, he gets picked last. No one wants a kid who can actually strike out at kickball. So choose the best. Save the worst for last, and maybe - hopefully - the awkward kid will get picked to be on the other team.

After all, every kickball captain knows that your team doesn't need a liability.

The world in which we live has often been similar to the elementary school playground. We've followed playground rules - but for adults. Pick who you like. The best looking, most talented folks with the whitest teeth and the best hair get picked first.

But the economy has changed. Along with the rules.

Leadership doesn't have to be a random pick. In fact leadership is a set of skills that can be learned and developed.

Seth Godin told creative people back in 2011 that if you're waiting to be picked, stop. Pick yourself.

Sometimes to pick yourself you have to change your game. If kickball isn't your thing, maybe cross-country running is (it was for me). Or maybe math or science or board game creation or sword fighting or poetry is your thing.

Do your thing. Get good at your thing. Pick yourself and begin to influence others to do their thing.

That's leadership 101 a la 2018.

Don't wait for someone to randomly choose you as the kickball captain. It may never happen.