Thursday, May 1, 2008

Super, Middle, and Falling Stars

I read Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell this past week (about time, since I borrowed it from someone over 6 months ago, and he has since moved, so now I get to mail it to him). This book contains a lot of great leadership suggestions in a very clear, concise format.

From the time I officially started learning about leadership when I went to Wood Badge as a participant, I was easily able to see how the lessons taught could be applied not only to the scouting 'teams' I worked with, but my family as well. This book was no different. It is intended for teams at work, but it brought out something really interesting that is definitely one of my family leadership weaknesses.

Cottrell talks about how there are three types of members on our teams - superstars (those who want to do their very best), middle stars (working along, but not superstars), and falling stars (those doing as little as they can to get by) - and that our tendency is to pile more on the superstars because we know they'll do it, and reward our falling stars with less, while still allowing that their lesser standard is acceptable. More encouragement and praise is given to middle and falling stars. I'm sure you are seeing what is wrong with this picture. Unfortunately, when superstars realize the treatment they receive vs. middle and falling stars, they lower their expectations and perform where they are going to get recognition.

Rather than spilling my terrible flaws, I'll let you think about how your own experience applies to that. I took plenty of notes on many other areas I can improve like focusing on the 'main thing' and being sure the team knows what that is, giving feedback, and using my time (and others' time) wisely.


  1. Woah! Definitely something to spend some time thinking about! Definitely!

  2. I don't know if you want to hear this, but early in your post I had a "vision" of you pregnant pop into my head. I didn't think about it for a few seconds, but maybe because you were pregnant when you were a Wood Badge leader the first time? Then again I didn't realize you were a leader until I was typing this.