Lessons In Leadership: What Not To Do … From Canoe!

When it comes to fishing, my husband takes the lead. But his lack of leadership in a recent canoe tour on Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota offered wonderful lessons about how leaders inevitably can tear up.

(1) Take responsibility without authorization.

Bill ensured that he had to be in the back of the rabbit to throw fish. I was paddle as he threw and rolled his close. The only challenge is that the ability to control two canoes is controlled by those in the back. He shouted at me but I had little power over the work. Troubled, I wanted to turn around and swing him with a paddle pad. LESSON: If you associate someone with a task, put them in full control of doing what's needed, rather than hampering them with your power.

(2) Rent skill but do not let the employee use it.

Boundary Waters consist of many islands associated with islands and it is often necessary to transport the canal to the next water. I have a good eye for reading a shipping card. I would identify the portage of the spot as we approached. In more than one case, Bill would argue that I'm wrong and we have to spend time "looking", just to return to the site I had reported. I liked to throw the backpacks up the trail. LESSON: If you hire someone with talent, you have not let them take the lead.

(3) Never believe anyone near the problem.

We were fishing with a rocky land that stood out from one island. Bill was removed from me when I called for help. "I have fish and I can not tighten the tape." "No," replied Bill, "you have no fish." "Yes, I'll do it. Please help me." He slowly sat down and took out my pole. A deft fisherman, he put the problem and his astonishment, drew out fish. I wanted to catch him with it. LESSON: Pay attention to people down the line. A remote view might very well be wrong.

(4) Practice ambiguous communication.

Since I was sick in the direction of a paddle, Bill would also cover a certain direction. "Go towards that tree," he called. Remember that he is sitting behind me. The island is covered with trees. Just what is this tree? "The GREEN ONE," he says. "Sorry, Bill. They are all green!" As the eyes in the back of my head were closed, I could not see where his finger pointed. I wanted to bite that finger. LESSON: Clairvoyance is not a skill you can hire. Explain specifically what you want and what you see. Bring people with you to your vision.

(5) Let others secure you out of trouble you cause.

As we went around the various islands, Bill would throw towards the beach. He has a good eye for a distance, but sometimes his line would shake the low sweet runs and I had to climb out and untangle the ship. One foot almost landed behind a weird rock that moved: Moss covered with a clever turtle with a bowl of a size of a toilet and jaw that could break my ankle. I yelled. LESSON: You can be bailed out once. But for repeated errors, come and do it yourself.

PS Worried about violence at work? Look at my answer to a person I love deeply. Consider these lessons very well.

(c) 2004, McDargh Communications. All rights to all media are reserved. Copies must contain transposition, contact information and copyright.

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