Watching the 2011 National League Baseball Divisional Playoffs I saw a great thing. The St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Milwaukee Brewers. It was possibly the last home game for Prince Fielder in a Brewers uniform. He has been a great player. With free agency, it’s likely he will move on to a higher paying team. He’ll shop them to see what its worth.
It may have been his last game as a Brewer. So recognizing that, and his tremendous contributions over his time there, he was given a rousing ovation by the fans. It wasn’t quite over when the pitcher stood on the mound for the next pitch. Albert Pujols, recognizing the situation, called time so that the fans could continue showing their appreciation for their hero. By calling time, Albert allowed the acclamation to continue and even grow. Mr. Fielder recognized what Mr. Pujols had done and acknowledged it. So did the fans – they were grateful to give Mr. Fielder his due.
There is some irony here. Albert is in the exact same position as Prince and both may be ending illustrious careers with their professional teams. Each player has only played for one team during their careers. Now, both may be moving on to larger markets.
What is significant is that Albert Pujols is a leader. He’s recognized as a leader on and off the field. Even if that weren’t true, Albert showed a tremendous level of leadership by calling time on behalf of Prince Fielder and the Milwaukee fans. Great leadership is concerned with equity. Albert recognized the greatness of Prince. He helped Prince to be able to drink in the fan admiration. Albert’s display was a great show of sportsmanship and leadership. Albert would have been fine if no one recognized him. He didn’t do it for himself. He had the foresight and quick response to take charge and make it right. Great leaders aren’t concerned with being recognized as they are with true greatness being recognized.
Points to Ponder –
What is the relationship between leadership and equity? What is the relationship between leadership and receiving praise? What is the relationship between different styles of leadership?
How does a person know when to step in, or step back? How important is it for a leader to recognize the greatness of those around him/her?
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