On Being a Bad Leader
penguin leadership Jack Welch on leadership leadership is action not position leadership

Growing up in Northwestern Minnesota, I have been a Minnesota Twins baseball fan my entire life.  Like all followers of a sports team, we follow them through thick and thin, winning and losing seasons.  Right now, the Twins are dismal.

The fans and the sportswriters have not been pleased with the Twins performance, of course not, people love a winner or at least a gallant effort when performing.   The Twins are not performing.

What both irked me and amused me (in a frustrated kind of way) is an article written by sportswriter, Chip Scoggins, about a telephone conversation with Twins owner, Jim Pohlad.  Jim is the son of the late Twins owner and billionaire businessman Carl Pohlad.

Jim Pohlad acknowledges that the Twins are a mess and change is needed.  The Twins owner then said, “The owner can’t do a whole lot.  But what could Terry [Ryan, General Manager]do? Or what could Paul [Molitor, Twins manager] do?  I just don’t know at this point.  It’s just a total system failure, so to speak.”

leadership is action not position

Doesn’t know what to do?!  I have never heard of a successful business person say; I don’t know what to do.

One assesses the situation.  It may take root cause analysis.  Then you bring in the right people and talent to start fixing the problem.  You spend the necessary money to right the ship.  If need be, you hire and bring in consultants to advise you on your business and what it will take to succeed.   You are sure to have proper and quality organizational development in place.  Then you execute accordingly.

Jack Welch on leadership

Jim Pohlad says he just doesn’t know?  So it begs the question.  Is Jim ignorant in the ways of business?  Does Jim need help in leadership?  Is Jim just apathetic to his team?  Is he a lazy owner?  Is he too avaricious to spend appropriate funds to remedy his organization?  It is hard to believe being the son of a highly successful business owner, but is Jim Pohlad a few clowns short of a circus?  Actually, I don’t even think Jim and his cohorts know how to pitch the tent.

One thing I have learned in my career, and yes I have made my share of mistakes and have had failures.  But my favorite sentence is still, but I can learn.