I am currently reading an advance copy of former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker’s new book, The Seamless City, and an initial thought about his book has taken hold in my mind…
“Football is a game of errors. The team that makes the fewest errors in a game usually wins.”
Reading this quote, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Duh! Isn’t that obvious? Why are these simple words hanging on a wall?’ But then the genius of this quote began to emerge. It wasn’t an epiphany, but it certainly was a moment of enlightenment.
Too often, in today’s complicated world, our leaders complicate problems by losing focus of the issue is at hand. They forget the principles by which they were elected. They would be so better off if they returned to their core values in order to accomplish what they originally set out to do.
“The team that makes the fewest error in a game usually wins.”
This is not exactly what Rick Baker is trying to say in his book, but there is a lot of that sentiment in his writing. When he ran for and won political office, he laid out the straightforward, four-step Baker Plan, stayed true to his core values and went about doing the routine the right way over and over again. He maximized his strengths, minimized his weaknesses and remained committed to his vision.
Being a mayor is no different, in some ways, then being a successful professional football coach. They both spend a lot of time thinking about a winning game plan, then go out and execute this plan.
What made Rick Baker mor successful than many leaders is that he did execute his game plan, no matter what challenge or issue came before him.
I’ll have more to say about Baker’s book in the coming days, especially about how we need intellectual leaders like him and Jeb Bush and others like them to, not only remain in the public arena, but return to elected office.