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Friday, June 01, 2007

A Nervous Leader

Tonight is a big night for me. I've been nervous about tonight for several weeks and I can honestly feel the butterflies right now. Normally I'm calm, cool and collected, even in the face of the storm, but I just can't quite get this under control.

At 8:00PM I'm going to make my debut as a coach and pitcher for our softball team and I'm not sure I'm up for it.

Believing that my past has created who I am today, I've been carefully analyzing my history of softball and have come up with 2 distinct possibilities as to why I'm a nervous wreck.

1. The very first time I played, I subbed in on a friend's team in college. Standing in right field, the first ball of the game sailed over my head for a triple because I didn't judge the depth right. The next inning I played catcher and then was benched for good.

2. The first time I played a whole season, I was back in Tulsa and our pitcher walked 3 out of every 4 batters. As a result, our average loss (which was every game in the season) would be something like 4 to 25. It was a horrible and frustrating experience for everyone. Shannon and Adam were on that team and can tell you how bad it was.

So, whatever the reason, I've got to overcome the jitters and WIN WIN WIN tonight... or at least not walk more than one batter an inning. I'm setting a reasonable goal for myself.

Wondering how my leadership ability as a coach might be jeopardized by my nervousness, I read this article by Pamela Thomas-Graham, CEO of CNBC and was reassured that it's okay to sweat a little in front of my team.

She said "You have to break a sweat so they understand at an emotional level what's really at stake."

I'm hoping she's right.

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