Today, during team practice 16 with a team learning to talk truth, I had a little fun. It had been almost two weeks since I last facilitated a team practice and I was ready to get after it. So, when this team started off waiting for me to initiate and take the lead I hit them with some truth, instead. Julia grabbed the reins and led beautifully. I mean she stayed curious and led with good questions for nearly 60 minutes. Zmiester challenged the leader. Oh my gosh, you gotta be kidding me, we can finally fire some direct shots at the big fella in the corner office. Yup, turns out we can. Nobody died. Nobody got fried. Nobody even got the least bit burnt.

Today, trust was built with this team. I’m not sure any trust was built with me. In fact, a few might have less trust toward their facilitator and more toward their leaders and each other. Good.

You see, leader, your job is not to build cuddly friendships with your followers. Your job is to build tough and tender leaders. Tough and tender teammates who talk truth, both speaking and listening. Tough and tender tongues, remember, don’t require a filter – they simply require tuneage to all the different tongues in the room and know when to speak, when to listen, when to teach, when to stay curious, when less is more, when more is more, and when it’s the right time and place to speak and open up or shut it down. Yes, friend, leadership is that hard. No easy answers. You gotta figure it out. Good.

Today, during team practice, a few teammates took the lead. Julia hit a home run while many teammates sat and watched her round the bases. I got a funny feeling a few more are stepping up in practice 17. Some might even try throwing a wild pitch my way.

Go on. Feel free. Good…

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