Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Play to Win or Not to Lose

I recently watched two football games where coaches in almost identical situations chose very different strategies. As both games were coming to the end of regulation play, two of the teams scored to bring themselves within a point of tying the game.

One coach chose to play it safe. He brought in his kicking team and kicked an easy extra point to tie the game. Rather than going for the more difficult two points and a win, he chose to take the game into overtime.  His decision was the safe, conventional, and uninspired choice. He chose to not lose, rather than to go for the win.

In the second game the same situation occurred. In this case, however, the coach chose to go for the more difficult, riskier two point extra point. Make the extra point and win, not make it and lose. No overtime, no second chances...just finality in one play.

As I reflected on the choices made by these coaches I thought about the strategy we as camp directors take to leading our camps. Do we play to win or to not lose? Do we take risks or do we play it safe? Do we have a sense of urgency to win now or are we willing to wait? How do these choices impact our organizations? What messages do they send to our staff about how we view them, our organization, and the environment we're operating in?