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Yellow Card and Leadership

This past weekend I was witness to a powerful leadership decision. I'm not sure if the person who made the decision even knew that they were stepping into the role of a leader, but I saw it and I want to share it with you.

Picture a very physical, neck-and-neck soccer match in the second half. Both teams were tired and starting to struggle. The otherwise acceptable physicality was getting more and more heated and even dangerous as more cheap shots were taken when the ref wasn't looking. One player took it upon themselves to intentionally draw a yellow card to 'slow the game down.' If you're not familiar with soccer rules, here's what a yellow card means:

A yellow card is a disciplinary action taken by the referee to caution a player for unsporting behavior, dissent, or for committing a foul. The card is shown to the offending player by the referee by holding up a yellow card. Receiving two yellow cards in the same match leads to a red card and a player is sent off the field.

When the card came out, it captured the attention of both teams, the play resumed with a renewed sense of order. Still competitive, the game continued. And then this happened:

This was my daughter's soccer team, my daughter drew the yellow card, and scored the goal. Beyond my feelings of motherly pride, I'm struck by how strategic this was. There's no way she could have predicted the outcome, but she took action to cool off the game by drawing the foul and it turned out that was a good move.

My question to you is where is your opportunity to draw a yellow card? Are you being pushed too hard at work? Do you push yourself too hard? Is your internal dialogue aggressive and harsh? Or, do you allow others to control the pace of your life? I think these are all good questions to consider to help uncover where we might be trying to muscle through without considering a slower, more controlled pace. You never know what kind of opportunities might open up when you slow down your pace, assess the field and take aim at your goal.

If you're feeling the need for a time out or 'yellow card' but are finding it challenging to take the first step, I would love to talk to you. So much can happen to open up opportunities in a coaching conversation.

The first session is on me and for some, that's all it takes. Others want to continue to conversation to spend more time exploring and creating possibilities.

Schedule time here and you'll be able to experience coaching to see if it's something that feels right for you. After the first session, we'll talk about the next steps together.

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