The Right People
32“…[cycling] will survive and thrive…[and on] the competitive side, you have to have the right people making the right decisions, in terms of who runs the team, the riders they use, the training they use, the tactics they employ – you hope that person comes along and knows what they are doing, otherwise you are just pack-fill.” Lance Armstrong on the ending of Team Discovery Channel
Surrounded by some of the best in team direction at the inaugural Tour of Missouri, it was fun to compare the differences in leadership style. My desire to become a pro team’s director led me to seek apprenticing opportunities and gain exposure during this international caliber event. Sitting in the team car beside some of the well-known and respected directors, I was able to conduct an informal analysis. It was easy to predict the team’s results on the day, not so much based upon a given rider’s ability, but upon the depth and caring exhibited during interactions between management and riders. Without exception, what was aimed for was achieved and the day’s goals were formed often with rider input and careful listening by the person calling the shots. In this way, the successful direction was less about telling the team what to do and more about helping them discover what they already knew. Once discovery was made, a specific game plan which challenged the team to reach a bit beyond proved the winning scenarios. Aim at nothing, that’s what you get. The leaders who proved they knew their riders and were skillful in directing known strengths while minimizing weaknesses, enjoyed laurels of a stage’s podium ceremony. Those riders benefited from the distinction that comes from knowledge and how to use it.
Prayer for Team Leadership
“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.” 33Psalm 78:72
We acknowledge the examples of fine leadership that surround us and are grateful for their honesty and capability. We pray for skilled leaders in cycling who will care about long-term considerations for their community of riders, sponsors, and supporters. We pray that decision-makers will grow in character and wisdom, and that sincere, smart guidance will increase in cycling.
Ponder How can you become an honest, skilled leader? How can you help and thank the gifted advisors that you have? Affirm I can be a great leader by becoming a truthful and accomplished follower. Watch what happens when you work on your own candidness and expertise.
32“Tailwind discusses end of Team Discovery Channel” cyclingnews.com, August, 2007.