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Sunday, May 09, 2010

It’s All About Bench Strength

This interview with Sharon Napier, chief executive of Partners + Napier, an ad agency based in Rochester NY, was conducted by The New York Times:

'Q. What were some important leadership lessons for you?
A. Much of what I learned about leadership I learned playing basketball, whether it was as a player or from my coaches. I use basketball analogies a lot.

Q. What are your favourites?
A. I always tell people it’s not about the big game. And what I mean by that is it takes hours and hours of practice to be good. I’ll tell a younger person in the agency: “You’re going to be at an internal agency meeting to present your work, so practice. Act like it’s real. Go home, prepare, practice. Because when you get to the big game, you’ll be able to really be good.”
And I always say that the stats don’t lie. It’s not subjective. It’s just, what are your goals and did you meet them?

Q. What else?
A. I went from playing high school basketball to college basketball. You can be a star in high school, and you can be the ninth player in college. It’s just the way it is. So I always talk about understanding the bench strength. First of all, every player has a role. Know what it is. If you’re the seventh player who’s supposed to go in and get five rebounds because we need them, that’s your role. So I talk about that a lot — we don’t have the starting team and the not-starting team. We have a bench, and everybody has to be strong. They come in and they bring different things to the table. And you learn that by playing. You learn that if you’re not worried about your own success, and you’re worried about the success of the team, you go a lot further.'

For the full interview, see -  


The Foundation of Positive Leadership

When you look at a tall building, what you see are the visible spaces above the ground. The foundation upon which it rests is largely invisible. But the foundation has to be strong, otherwise the entire building will fall.

Similarly, the foundation of Positive Leadership is largely invisible. But it rests on two behaviours. One is Integrity and the other is Character.

To find out more about the values of Positive Leadership and how these values influence business strategy to help organisations achieve performance excellence, even under pressure, please contact: