Last month I shared a post about Paul Levy, a guest speaker at the MedStar Quality Retreat (MedStar Q&S Retreat post) who used to be the CEO of a large hospital in Boston. His message was compelling so I decided to read his book 'Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field'.
The book was great. It is a paperback and an easy read. In short, he tells the story of how his experience as the coach of his daughter's soccer teams, from age 8 through 18, taught him valuable lessons about being a good leader in the business world.
His premise is fairly simple. He asks what is the goal of a leader? His answer: A leader is the steward of the purpose of the institution and the job of the professional leader is to enable your colleagues to learn, individually and collectively, to fulfill the organizations' mission. That is right, a leader helps the people in his/her organization learn. The organization grows stronger from the building collective wisdom of all its associates. In this way, a teacher for a student is similar to a coach for a team which is similar to a leader for an organization.
Once you create this learning environment, everything can become an opportunity to make the organization a better place to work and more effective at reaching its goal. As an example, unintended errors are embraced as learning opportunities for personal growth for everyone involved.
I recommend the book, not just for work, but for (attitude toward) life.
I found it on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Goal-Play-Leadership-Lessons-Soccer/dp/1469978571