I used to play golf all the time. Ten years ago it wouldn't be uncommon for me to play 50-60 rounds per season. The last few years I was lucky to get 5-6 rounds played per year. 2010 was one of those years.
In October I dusted off the clubs for a round with my great friend and speaking partner, Kelly Barnes. It was a magical round... except for hole #3. It was a great day on the links. All pars and bogeys (great for me), except for one double-bogey and a disaster on hole #3. I scored a 13 on that one hole! It was a train wreck. It was so bad Kelly and I were not even going to score it - hence the scratches. If I had even bogeyed that hole, I would have scored a 79 and achieved something I have only done twice in my golfing career - breaking 80. Needless to say, I ended an otherwise great day of golf very, very frustrated.
As leaders, we are expected to deliver results - i.e. birdies and pars. However, if we have even one glaring weakness or shortcoming (one Hole #3), it can diminish our effectiveness and make many of our strengths irrelevant.
Fortunately, leadership (unlike golf) is a team sport. The best leaders are surrounded with people who are strong where he or she is weak. Yet, a Hole #3 type weakness can still hold us back and block our leadership's full power, scope and range. The following grid shows how you can have 9 of the 10 vital components of great leadership and still fall short of your potential.
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The abbreviations are the PLI Leadership Essentials.
Examine your skills. Be honest with yourself. What is a weakness you possess that has a Hole #3 type meaningfulness? Find it and begin today working on growing, changing and improving. At the end of the day, a 79 might only be 7 strokes from an 86, but those 7 strokes might mean the difference between being a leader who is an "also played" and a leader who is a game-changer. One that is leaving a legacy of excellence, remarkable results and a life-changing score for those you serve.