I love to beat my three teenagers at sports! In the past I was able to do this even in physical sports such as skiing, basketball, swimming, etc. As I become older, I am finding this more difficult to achieve.
A few years ago I almost killed myself trying to show off my skateboard skills. I took my twin boys to a skateboard park and noticed that they couldn’t muster up the courage to take on the half pipe. My pride got the better of me and I really felt the urge to show my boys that their dad was still very cool and fearless.
I must admit, the view from the top of a half-pipe is much more intimidating than from the bottom. They didn’t believe that I would actually attempt something so foolish… and I shouldn’t have! Only by God’s grace am I still around today to share my stupidity in this blog.
So what are the sports that I still command and enjoy beating my kids at? Ping pong, billiards and mini golf… or so I thought!
Last week we enjoyed a nice family vacation on Hilton Head Island, SC. The kids wanted to play mini golf and the evil forces inside of me, took control. I saw a huge opportunity to pounce on them and show them how cool their dad was. My kids didn’t have a chance to beat their dad given that he plays “real” golf with a passion.
The first few holes didn’t go so well and I blamed it on bad luck, or should I saw, fantastic luck that my kids were having. I wasn’t worried, however, as I knew there were plenty of holes left to play and my experience would soon turn the match my way. No such thing happened. My frustration kept growing and I ended up coming in last place! Luckily this mini golf course offered 36 holes of play so I quickly convinced the family that we should take advantage of the reduced rate and play a bit more. Revenge would be sweet!
I didn’t come in last place on the second round, but I didn’t win either. My kids could see my frustration and started making fun of me. They knew that I took the game way too serious and had a hard time losing. They were right.
I can’t end this blog without drawing a business parallel to my mini golf experience.
Have you ever worked for a boss who wanted to be in full control or one who always took the credit for work that you have done? Instead of supporting their employees to excel and advance their careers, they try to hold them back. Rather than taking joy in another person’s success – especially one who reports to them – these managers become frustrated that someone might be passing them by. No leadership there.
Let me end with some wise words from NFL football coach Tony Dungy:
Instead of asking, how can I lead my company, my team, or my family to a higher level of success? We should be asking ourselves, how do others around me flourish as a result of my leadership? (The Mentor Leader, page 5)
Real leaders don’t take the credit, they give it:
If you do it right, as a mentor leader you may make it all but impossible for other people to give you credit. (The Mentor Leader, page 27)