Either You Have It or You Don’t…

You either know what you’re doing or you don’t. You either can develop or garner respect from players or know how to deal with a group and be able to lead it or not.” Gregg Popovich, Head Coach of San Antonio Spurs

Good Morning and I hope you are all doing well on this Thursday. Lately, I have been consumed with conversations and research papers dedicated to the topic of “leadership.” There are plenty of books, seminars, videos and studies related to leadership and is it something that can be learned or is it inherently in you. The focus of leadership is in the techniques used to motivate, move and mentor others whether on the job, in life or on sports teams.

Many of us would consider ourselves good leaders. The personal assessment that we tell ourselves is that we have the ability to lead a team or division at work or on a team through “position authority.” Which basically means that we were given a title that held sway over others so by default we became the designated leader. And through that position, we learned how to lead by trial and error or a few classes. However, many people placed in those positions usually don’t want the responsibility that comes with it or the headaches [and trust, it comes with both!].

The quote above by Coach Popovich says a lot in a few short sentences. If you know anything about him then you know he is a man of a few words. But what he is saying is that sooner or later, your leadership skills will either manifest or they won’t. There is no level or amount of coaching/training that will make you a better leader if you don’t embrace the position of leadership and convince others of the same. “Either you have it. Or you don’t.” Which doesn’t say you won’t do a good job in the current job you have. But it also means you won’t be ready or pushed to do anything else on a higher level.

Many of us want to move to higher levels in our lives or careers. So that means real-time assessments of our skills and abilities that realistically let us know where we are and how we can improve.  If we aren’t self assessing, then how will we ever know what we do well or don’t do so well? I believe that leadership can be learned to some degree but sooner or later, you have to innately know that you can lead and step up without prodding, poking or position. “Either you have it. Or you don’t.”

Leadership is a lonely position. Many people won’t understand the pressures you face or the decisions you will have to make. Often times, you will find yourself in an unenviable position that requires sacrifice and hard truths. But that is the call of a leader. You must be ready at all times and continue to know what you are doing. It’s not easy and when things go wrong, the leader will be blamed. Not always fair but it is what it is. And most people aren’t built for that challenge. “Either you have it. Or you don’t.”

So as you move about today, ask yourself, am I the leader strive to be? Am I moving towards the next levels in my career, life or relationships? Are my leadership skills on display consistently? If so, what do people see and say about my leadership ability? What would I say about it? “Either you have it. Or you don’t…”

Have an awesome day!


Keith Cradle



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