A couple of years ago I was on an epic autumn bicycle ride with a good friend. We were taking in the colorful leaves, crisp air, and conversing about how lucky we were to be out riding instead of being inside. Being so full of joy, and taking in all of the beauty around me, I took for granted that the road beneath me was solid, soon I hit a pothole, and was on the ground.

Besides a bad case of road rash and a broken helmet, I was not hurt. But my confidence was rattled.

But not wanting to waste a good life lesson, I considered the parallel between my accident and my leadership lessons. Here are a few:

  • Leaders have to keep their eye on the big picture, but wary of the short term snags that can distort or even change the big picture. (Good cyclers enjoy the scenery but must always watch for hazards).
  • Leaders have to enjoy the process and people, but must remember the core principles of the organization, and lead from that position. (Good cyclers ride with confidence, but safety always trumps distraction).
  • Even if leaders are doing everything they can for the good of the organization, outside influences can impact future success. (Good cyclers might do everything right, but a tire blow out or a darting squirrel can take a bicycle down).
  • Leadership can be complex and confounding, just like cycling. There are no perfect leaders, but the best leaders are those who embrace their own humanity and do their best in spite of the outside challenges.

I’m running for the ICF Global Board, and if elected, I promise to apply my life lessons in leadership to support coaches worldwide to be successful. Please vote, and if think I can be one of your leaders, I’d appreciate your vote.