There is a phrase in baseball: The “sweet spot” on the bat refers to the specific place near the end of the bat where optimum potential energy is stored. On the ball, there is a place know as the sweet spot, in between the coming together of the seams – it is where most autographs are placed. The sweet spot is where you will gain the most response and reaction to contact when the bat and ball collide. There is a distinct “crack” that results and the ball travels farther, because the batter has made a solid connection at the perfect point of both the bat and the ball. The ball really flies when you hit it with the sweet part of the bat.
For me, the sweet spot of leadership is when a leader displays a perfect balance between passion and wisdom. Fall too far on one side or the other, and leadership will be impaired. Typically, young leaders have lots of passion but not as much wisdom and they pay for it. And older leaders lack passion but make up for it with more wisdom – they too, pay the price. Somewhere in the middle is where leaders find their sweet spot.
So when does the sweet spot come along?
I am not sure about a specific age or an amount of time spent leading but I do believe that we can go right through our sweet spot of leadership without even recognizing it or taking advantage of it.
I can certainly be considered as a middle aged leader, having been at this for a while now. But I still have a lot of passion – even to the point of it getting me into trouble from time to time. I hope that I am heading into my sweet spot of leadership. I think it may be just ahead for me. I think I need to add some more wisdom without losing my passion. I’m working hard on it!
I sure hope that, once I find my sweet spot, it stays for a while. I want to make solid contact. I want to hear the crack of the bat. I want to watch the ball fly. I want to hit a home run.
I’m not sure when I’m going to get there but once I do, I want to get as much done as I possibly can. I don’t want to miss my sweet spot.
Don’t miss your sweet spot.