March 10; How To Know If a Manager Can Pull a Team Together
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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10 March

Lazy hands make for poverty,

Proverbs 10:4

How To Know If a Manager Can Pull a Team Together

Diligent Hand

Hannah Yoest Stroke Bending the oar

Hannah Yoest
Stroke
Bending the oar

The young mid-shipman came into the US Naval Academy from the middle of a dry Texas far from water. He would leave the Navy as a Fleet Admiral having commanded 2,000,000 men, 5,000 ships and 20,000 aircraft. He was instrumental as a key leader in helping to win the war in the Pacific in World War II.

How did he learn leadership in the directing of big ships?

Rowing a skinny boat.

***

Chester Nimitz rowed crew at the USNA and undoubtedly shared the affliction of painful blisters hardening into callouses in handling an oar. Diligent hands are necessary to pull together as a crew team. Rowing crew has been described as 8 athletes each swinging a golf club in unison, in perfect symmetry for 200 strokes.

Nimitz loved the competition.

However, not everyone appreciates this pressure. The non-athlete or the person who disdains sports will have a challenge in management.

The theologian, Michael Novak reminds us,

[F]rom those who dislike sports I expect from them a certain softness of mind, from their not having known a sufficient number of defeats. Unless they have compensated for it elsewhere, I anticipate that they will underestimate the practice and discipline required for execution, or the role of chance and Fate in human outcomes. I expect them to have a view of the world far too rational and mechanical. (Novak 1976)

Nimitz as an athlete had learned well the discipline and diligence needed for execution and he gives credit to his USNA crew coach, Dick Glendon. “[W]hat he put into successive generations of Navy midshipmen,” the Admiral said of Glendon, “undoubtedly helped us win the naval battles of World War I and World War II.” (Sing 2008)

Susan Saint Sing writes about coach Glendon in her book, Wonder Crew. She details how the coach forged the teams who would win Championships and World Wars and Olympic Gold. And how Glendon’s oarsmen would forever remember and thank him for his leadership.

***

There was a picture that hung in Coach Glendon’s house. It showed Admiral Nimitz signing the Japanese surrender documents on the deck of the USS Missouri ending WWII. It is inscribed, “To Dick Glendon with best wishes and warmest regards.” The photograph is signed, “Nimitz–Fleet Admiral, stroke 1905.”

It is not clear of which Nimitz might be more proud: ‘Admiral’ or ‘stroke.’

Proverbs 10:4 says, Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

###

Michael Novak, Ph.D., Joy of Sports, 1976, p. 44.

Susan Saint Sing, Ph.D., Wonder Crew, 2008

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