Good leaders are catalysts. As a catalyst, a good leader causes good things to happen that wouldn’t happen without his/her leadership. Leaders cannot do everything, but they can make decisions and do things that cascade into something dramatically more dynamic. That’s what it means to be a catalyst.
If you don’t think you have that kind of ability as a leader, check out this short video and consider the way that Coach Peter Morales served as a catalyst.
What a heart-warming video, right? And obviously, it all started with a decision that the coach made to let Mitchell play. Think for a moment about what Coach Morales’ decision did.
- It honored and elevated Mitchell and gave him an opportunity that only the coach could give him.
- His example motivated his team to be unselfish as they sought to help Mitchell score a basket.
- It energized the people who might otherwise have been just casual spectators to cheer for something greater than a game. The crowd saw a bigger picture and a greater purpose.
- It even motivated a player on the opposing team. (Wouldn’t it be great to be the kind of leader who brought out the best in everyone—even people who seem to be the opposition?)
Not every decision has that kind of dramatic impact. However, every decision a leader makes empowers someone and dis-empowers someone, and a wise leader never forgets his/her role as a catalyst.
Way to go, Mitchell! We’re all proud for you! And thanks, Coach Morales, for giving us a great example of what it means to be a catalyst.