When I get asked about what makes high performance and what makes good leaders, I tend to find myself in conversations around what a people do and what they know. It seems to be all about how well everyone knows the theory. All well and good, if you are inside the team and in the doing of the work.

Only when I check in and observe really good leaders at work I see something else. The magic isn’t in what a leader knows, it is in how they use what they know.

The difference is not doing!

Let me use another analogy here. We focus so much on the ball that we forget that balls don’t move across fields on their own. Players move balls. A player can have all the skills and knowledge in the world, that doesn’t make them amazing or successful in itself. What makes them successful is how they make choices, how they use that knowledge to get the ball into the goal.

What makes a leader successful is in being able to direct the players on the field so that they are working in symphony, using their individual skills to their best and in a way that builds on the skills of the players around them.

Leaders create teams that out perform themselves as individuals.