Leadership is What Happens When The Leader is Absent

When I went online for some interesting photos to put with this blog post I came across the Irish Times headline ‘Leaders fall but others rise up and inspire’. It says it all. Here’s a few quotes from that online article:

Men who would be captains in any other era and another who will lead them now.

“It was 25 minutes when Johnny came off and Paulie before half-time but it was a calm changing room,” said Jamie Heaslip. “Everyone switched into their role and started problem-solving.”

Ian Madigan arrived and instantly darted passes before kicking a high-pressure penalty to steady himself and the magically tuned-in crowd.

Iain Henderson arrived and performed like the world-class heir to the throne that he is.

Ireland refused to bend. O’Brien’s team now, the pack took over, so clearly playing for their fallen leaders, thumping the French line until the ball went wide to Rob Kearney.

That’s where they have never gone before and the road must now be travelled without their leaders. But new ones have already risen.

Great lines that say most of what I had in mind. But just to add what I heard Rob Kearney say in a post match interview on the pitch. He spoke about a team of leadership (or as I call it the leader ship). How they would do anything for Paulie (Paul O’Connell), the ultimate tribute to a captain. Rob gave the example of how “Robbie Henshaw made those extra yards time and time again which makes it easier for the rest of us”, he spoke of that as the leadership that was on the field, “giving example to the rest of us”. Btw Robbie is the youngest player on the team (and an Athlone man whose father I played with!).

On a tangent I spoke to my mother this morning who told me she bumped in to Billy Henshaw last week (Robbie’s 90 yr old grandfather). He told her that he would be still alive if it weren’t for Robbie and the interest they have in him. He also told her that his wife has the house nearly burnt down with all the candles she is lighting before the matches on TV!

Finally, I pay tribute to the facilitator of great leadership which is the best form of leadership, i.e. developing leaders. Mr Joe Schmidt. I attribute most of what is happening with Irish rugby team Joe’s leadership and management (management being a critical element of overall great leadership). Listening to some post match discussion I heard one person say how Joe has one absolutely clear goal in this world cup, and that’s to win. What I’m observing is his absolute conviction that this is absolutely possible. He see’s it happening. And you know what, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day whether they do or not, it’s about HOW and WHO they are being as they travel the journey.

For me, so far Ireland have won the world cup, the ‘leader ship’ world cup. H’on the Ireland!

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