Home » Personal » Are Better Decisions Made Without a “Leader”?

Any parent who has sat on the sidelines of a boy’s high school soccer game knows that the referee “controls” both the technical and behavioral components of the game. Sometimes the “calls” are accurate, sometimes not so much. But what happens when the referee fails to show up?

That scenario played out earlier this week in a game between two teams- one a big inner city group, and the other “smaller in stature” suburban group.

From the sideline parent’s perspective, it looked like trouble. Who could imagine these two groups facing off on a field with no referee? But since it was an “add on” to the schedule, and didn’t “count”, it was decided that the game would be played anyway.

The parent’s and coaches held their collective breath as the game began, and for the next hour, we waited for the “trouble” to start. It never did. Not only was there no trouble, but the two teams got along better than most. There was good sportsmanship and the boys were talking and laughing with each other during the game. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for the urban team, the boys shook hands, some “high-fived”,  and we all went home.

What is the moral of this story? The person in charge has the power, makes the “obvious” calls and shoulders the blame for conflict. When there is no person in charge, the obvious calls are mutually agreed on, and the not so obvious are talked out. This is a clear demonstration of the “roundtable effect” (a meeting of peers), in that nobody is above or below each other, and good decisions are easy to come by.

What are your thoughts? Drop me an email at barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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