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Casual Leadership extracts its greedy tariffs on corporations and classrooms. Only making withdrawals, Casual Leadership always leaves a deficit in lives. It manifests itself in the marketplace, halls of higher learning, and sports arenas.

There seems to be a new trend – or should I say plague – in college football these days which illustrates this undesirable leadership trait. Football fans have watched in disbelief as it has cost their team a touchdown or even the game.

Lately, there have been a rash of players dropping the football before crossing the goal line. Listen to the comments of three online sports writers. (Links included for your entertainment.)

“. . . the most confounding mistake imaginable.”  Rodger Sherman

“It could be excitement. It could be a lack of concentration.” Andrew Joseph

“The fling-the-ball-away-before-reaching-the-end-zone move has become a gridiron epidemic in recent years . . .” Josh Levin

Personally I agree with the assessment made by the commentator of a game I was watching. The senseless action almost caused the team to lose the game. The commentator referred to the player’s action as “Casual.”

It was that comment which ignited this post. This particular player is a leader on his team. He knows better . . . but he just got comfortable and too “Casual.” The team was depending on him and he did not give them his best.

It can happen to any of us, in any place of leadership, not just on the field of play. We have good intentions. Deep down we care about the team.

However, for a variety of reasons, we lose our focus.

I have worked with leaders of all ages. I have been privileged to work with exceptional leaders. I also have experienced the results of working with those who became “Casual” in their leadership. I have observed several reasons why leaders become “Casual” in the heat of the leadership process:

  • Pride
  • Inattention
  • Self-centeredness
  • Laziness
  • Lack of commitment
  • Loss of focus
  • Loss of vision

Ironically, most of the teams mentioned in the links below recovered from the “Casual” actions of the individual players and won their games. That is good news. But there were still consequences and costs.

So what are some of The True Costs of Being a Casual Leader?

  • Trust is eroded.
  • Confidence is diminished.
  • Teamwork is endangered.
  • Sacrifice is required.
  • Vision is impaired.
Becoming comfortable while carrying the ball is a great way to fumble. This serves as a metaphor for all of leadership, because Casual Leadership is costly in every arena of life. People are depending on us as leaders. We cannot afford to become casual!

What has been your experience with Casual Leadership?

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