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Plotting the Course

When was the last time you played croquet? In your backyard when you were a child, right? You may remember sending your sibling’s ball into the far corners of your backyard and the rules well were fairly simple. Every summer while growing up in the Midwest, I played a lot of croquet. The games were interrupted by family barbecues, an occasional thunderstorm and fireflies. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of playing croquet while in Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. Somewhat fitting considering the game gained its popularity in England. The focus of the trip is to relax, enjoy the company of good friends, and see a variety of quality plays; however, for the past 10 years playing three rounds of croquet has become an annual occurence. The competition is fierce, but entirely friendly. There are several skills I observed that are necessary to be a successful croquet player, and I thin kthey are the same skills needed to lead an organization or make the changes necessary to achieve your personal or professional goals.

While throwing tantrums and abusing pink flamingo mallets may work for the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, succeeding at croquet -- and business -- actually requires strategic thinking, aim, patience, tactical ability, and problem solving. What skills do you possess that make you an effective leader -- and a good croquet player?

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