I’ve often said this since he was born, but my 10 year old son is teaching me as much as I may teach him. There are moments, like last night, when I am amazed that this child could have come from a combination of genes of his mom and I. What I witnessed was a reminder of how our attitude reflects leadership.

Last night, The Red Barons faced the only team that had beaten them all year. That loss came after my son had pitched a great game and handed the lead over to the bullpen to finish the game (they have an innings pitched limit). It was 3-1 when he left the game. They lost 4-3. I believe all of their 15 wins this summer have come on mercy rule. Close games are not the norm. So you can imagine the tension and nerves entering this important game. Even at 10 years old, you could hear the players talk about their nerves and how much they wanted to win. With all of this in mind (and a coin flip to make them the home team), the Red Barons coach turned to “the boy” and handed him the ball.

Set the tone

Be the leader

In the first inning, he struck out the first two batters he faced (neither making contact). A fielding error by another player gave the other team a baserunner but “the boy” promptly retired their 4 hitter to end the inning. No damage done. Overpowering stuff. The tone was set. The Red Barons would go on to score 6 innings in the bottom of the first. His coach told him he would pitch one more inning and then they would save him for the end of the game (if needed). He wanted to make sure he could close it out. The Red Barons would go on to mercy rule the other team 14-4 and take over sole possession of first place.

What I learned from my son last night was a calm in the midst of pressure. He always has a very calm demeanor even when others (me) are freaking out. He’s not easily rattled (I am). He’s that way in everyday life too, not just sports. His attitude reflects his leadership. When his team was clearly nervous, his calm led the way. He wanted the ball at that moment. He wanted to lead.

As leaders we’re called to do the same thing. For the past 6 months I have been leading a team in the midst of uncertainty. I wondered last night if I have stayed the steady course each and every day. Has my attitude brought the team up, created hope, vision and drive? Have I taken the ball and shown a winning attitude for the rest of my teams?

Lesson learned.

Thank you son.