Discover the Rare Leader.

As with most blogs, you will find our most recent posting at the top in your current view.
On your first visit, begin with "What is the Rare Leader".
Reading subsequent postings under the archive section will allow you to "catch up" on the story of the Rare Leader.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Give Me The Ball

There’s 10 seconds left in the game.  We’re down by 2 points.  This is the championship.  This is what we have worked so hard all year long to accomplish.  It was our BHAG.  
And then, during the timeout, someone speaks up and says it.  He looks at everyone in the huddle, and says those four words.  “Give me the ball”.  It is at that moment you realize someone has taken over.  When it really matters, he announces he is taking ownership of the crucial score. He is telling us if he makes the three pointer we win.  If he misses the shot, if he is anything but perfect for 10 seconds, he is to blame.  And...he is ok with that responsibility.  
Make it we win, and perhaps he is a hero.  Miss it, and the season os over, and the spotlight of blame is on one person.
Would you interpret this scenario as an analogy to “Taking Ownership” at work?
You’ve been there.  It is a crucial moment.  The Board meeting begins in moments, and there is one more question we had not expected.  Or, just before you reach an agreement on the details of a large sale the buyer throws in one more twist.  You tell others...”give me the ball, I’ve got this one”.
I will agree with you that this is a time where someone takes ownership of finding the right answer, or meeting the terms to create that sale.  However, the Rare Leader™ will be found Taking Ownership differently.  
As a leader, Taking Ownership is not about you taking the final shot.  This is about you leading others.  The Rare Leader™ understands the importance of accepting responsibility as a Leader, not as the MVP. A Rare Leader™ of people, and of organizations reaches pinnacles of success by finding others who will step up to be the MVP.  
The Rare Leader™ will fill the organization with people who are passionate about taking responsibility for choices, feeling, thinking, and in everything they do.  The Rare Leader™ provides an example, so others on the Team will stop blaming others for their own decisions, and will teach them to be responsible for who they are.  The Rare Leader™ will initiate this type of change of culture in their organization because they believe in themselves.
Have you ever heard this prophesy? “The greatest sales people may not make the greatest leaders.”  Great sales people are really successful at selling, because they are passionate about selling.  They love being the MVP of the sale.  They love the hunt, the harvest, and they love devouring the fruit of success.  
If I am a Rare Leader™, my team hopes being the greatest performer at my "craft" was not the top qualifier for the job.  My team does not need the MVP as their Leader.  My Team needs a Rare Leader™ who is passionate about making them the MVP at what they do.  My Team needs a leader to Take Ownership of making the entire team and the entire organization successful.  
I need to Take Ownership of Leading others.
  1. Have you ever wanted the ball as time was running out?
  2. Have you ever been the MVP?
  3. Have you hired an MVP?
  4. Have you led a Team of MVP’s?
  5. Are you a Rare Leader™ who is passionate about Taking Ownership in leading others?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.


  1. Inspiring! its all about the goals we have. Situations and Boss become irrelevant. Kind of reminds me of this video

  2. Great post Steve! Taking responsibility for choices made is a Rare Leader™ - glad to finally discover what I am. I have been called so many other things.

  3. Thanks for enjoying the post and discovering who you are Danielle. What other behaviors of the Rare Leader™ do you see in yourself? What examples do you see in others?

  4. Steve - Really Good Post.

    For me, you summed it up all at the end of your post... "My Team needs a Rare Leader™ who is passionate about making them the MVP at what they do. My Team needs a leader to Take Ownership of making the entire team and the entire organization successful."

    Part of the responsibility of a leader is to make those around them better - in some cases, better than they are. To empower those around them to take control of the game, ask for the ball, and more importantly, feel like they did it all themselves!

    You were right on - alot of times, the best salespeople don't make the best leaders.

    Thanks Steve For Your Post - Looking Forward To Reading More From Rare Leader!


  5. Thanks for the insights Steve.

    I've seen great salespeople, or those MVP's at their craft become wonderful leaders, however, it takes them out of the passion that made them great. Managing that transition from MVP to a Rare Leader™ takes a plan, patience, clarity, accountability, and a great Team.

  6. A very refreshing perspective! Through my career I have witnessed more than my fair share of failed "leadership" attempts.

    Many companies assume that an MVP with "celebrity" status automatically qualifies them as a leadership candidate. They fail to recognize that being admired by your peers is not the same as leading them.

  7. Thanks Redge, Admired by peers because of your celebrity status is one of the most dangerous selection methods for leadership. It violates the power of Charisma, drawing people to you for the wrong reasons. There is a danger of Charisma not being authentic. One simple way to prove your Charisma is authentic, and not only skin deep, is to use it wisely.