Can Reading for Leading Be Fun? Is March — Madness?


Today’s column is really NOT about hoops (much as I love the game).

It’s about how brackets are both really cool — for reasons I do not understand — and can be kind of useful.  So, just for kicks I have created my own tournament bracket for your and my use.  In each branch of the bracket, I have put two words in a head-to-head competition. You choose the winner.  But instead of college basketball teams, I have put personal VALUES on my bracket.  For example, in “game 1” in the South Regional, I ask you to choose which value is more important to you — Creativity or Dependability.  The winner of that “game” will go up against the winner of the square-off between Grit and Kindness.  And, for another example, in “game 4” in the Midwest Regional, it’s Wealth against Steadfastness. Which do you prefer?

I thought it would be a fun way to sort out your personal values and boil  down to your top 4,  or if you want, you can “eliminate” all the way down to your number 1 value. We know that to lead well it is of vital importance that we know what we stand for, and what values we want to hold up to and for those with whom we work and live.

So you can either copy/print the image or heck make up your own.  Whaddya think?  What’s gonna make your Final Four? What really matters to you, as you

Lead with your best self?


    • Mostly random pairs 🙂
      In a second version I may build in a “loser’s bracket,” so that, for instance, if “love” lost out to “creativity” in the first round, it might get a chance to come back into the elimination game.
      Glad you enjoyed the exercise!

  • These may be false comparisons. People should be multi-dimensional. One can be both “gritty” and “kind”, “creative” and “dependable”, …etc. That makes a complete human.

    • Mel,
      I completely agree that you can bring polar opposites to your work. Indeed, we grow stronger when we can build out our value/skill sets. But here is the yin to that yang: I believe there is much research that suggests that it helps to FOCUS on key values (thus the “elimination” tournament); we become more intentional and focused, and it’s hard to have 10 or 15 values at play. Also, those we hope to influence and inspire are better off when they hear a few simple messages, e.g., the famous rule of three — than if we are sharing too many.
      Perhaps I should have set the context more clearly. Or perhaps I’m missing your point!
      Thanks for weighing in.

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