Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Leadership Failure

As I have grown older I have had time to reflect on mistakes that I have made in my attempt to be a leader. One of the biggest was my failure to lead during my years on the baseball team at St. Mary's College of California. I originally attended Auburn University on a scholarship but had some problems adjusting (homesick) and decided to return to California and continue playing. I "signed" with St. Mary's College after being recruited a second time by major baseball schools like Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara and black college powerhouse Jackson State University.

When I arrived there were a lot of expectations on me and I was not prepared to handle them. My personal life was a mess and I did not have the ability to lead in the manner that was required and I failed miserably. I failed my coaching staff, my teammates, but worst of all, I failed myself. I spent so much time complaining about the factors of my situation that I was not able to see that everyone else was looking to me to lead. That is a lot of pressure on a 19 year old but God never gives you anything that you can't handle. As I reflect I pinpointed 3 places that I failed and where others can learn from.

1. Never let your personal problems interfere with the job. No one will ever respect you because we all have problems. Yours may be more severe and they were but strength is essential in a leader.

2. Your actions will always speak louder than your words. My second year my performance on the field was markedly better than the previous year and my teammates appreciated that.

3. A little vulnerability is a good thing. When others see that you can laugh at yourself they become more comfortable with you because they don't think you are judging them

I feel bad for my teammates that I wasn't able to be the leader that I was put in a position to be. I know that it would have created lasting relationships that I currently don't have with most of them.


  1. Its interesting how much one learns from failure. Great lesson on leadership John.

    `R. Beans

  2. Nice lessons learned experience for the youth who may walk the same path. Although we all have our own track to walk we can all learn from each other. Great read!

  3. The painful moments are the most precious and most valuable in leadership - good for you for not letting them go to waste!