The Harbaugh’s and Scarcity of Leadership


Jim and John Harbaugh are brothers and will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl in two weeks. Much has been made about the fact that they both made decisions that went against the norm in the middle of the season that has paid big dividends.

Jim Harbaugh switched quarterbacks midseason despite having success with the incumbent starter.

John Harbaugh made the unusual decision to switch offensive coordinators midseason.

The fact that these decisions have been exalted to the level they have been is proof of the widespread lack of leadership.

Most of the time people in all types of leadership elude criticism by succumbing to conventional wisdom even when they know it does not create the best chance for success.

Leadership requires both the wisdom to know what is best for your organization (or team or family) and the courage to follow through with it. 

Jim and John Harbaugh had both the wisdom and the courage to do what gave their teams the best chance to win even though failure would have made them ripe for criticism. This kind of leadership is scarce.

I start each day with this prayer:

“God give me the wisdom to know what you would have for me today and the courage to act on it.”

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