Being a leader is not easy. It never has been and never will be.
We can always debate, of course, whether it’s more difficult to be a leader now than at other times.
From lawmakers to university/college presidents, high school superintendents, principals, and parents, it’s not easy to lead.
The problem doesn’t just reside with our leaders. The problem lies with all of us.
How do you lead when few are willing to follow? My dad had a sign in his office years ago that said, “There they go. I must hasten after them, for I am their leader.” There’s some truth to that.
During the year of COVID-19, and with a country split politically, who knows what the future holds?
The United States of America has evolved into the Divided States of America. There has always been debate and tension, but today, the chasm is widening. Leaders who welcome peaceful protests are finding it a difficult tightrope to walk when those protests turn violent.
In sports, the cards dealt to those in leadership positions this year have not been kind. But you can’t simply ask for a new hand. You have to play the cards you were dealt.
Professional golf resumed play, minus the fans. Other professional sports followed suit, with games played in empty stadiums.
Major League Baseball decided to play a short two-month season.
The NBA resumed playing a few games before moving directly into the playoffs.
Who knows how the NFL season will play out?
Many colleges have delayed football and volleyball until spring, while others are forging ahead and playing this fall.
In Kansas, many high schools are playing football; others are not.
There’s little agreement across the country on what’s the best course of action moving forward.
Dr. Karissa Niehoff, writing for the National Federation of High School Associations, said, “How do we begin to describe the past six months in high school sports and performing arts? Strange, bizarre and unprecedented all come to mind.”
Wearing masks and social distancing are fast becoming the norm, even at sporting events.
In one of the country’s first football games in Utah last month, an athletic director stopped the game and told the crowd that the game would not resume until all fans were wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.
“Congratulations to this leader for taking a stand,” wrote Niehoff.
All of those who are in high school administration have had to fly solo whether they want to or not. Surely there are some who are thinking, “This isn’t what I signed up for.”
With no sports being played this fall in some areas of the country because of the pandemic, “some families have uprooted their lives and moved to another state – or to other schools within their own states – to enable their sons or daughters to play sports in an area that has a lower spread of the virus – with the singular focus of earning a college scholarship,” wrote Niehoff.
She noted that less than 2% of high school students will play at the college level. The vast majority will not play collegiate sports.
Niehoff wrote: “Ordinarily, moves of this extreme nature are not athletically motivated. But it would be hard to defend many of these recent transfers – across the country or across town – as anything but related to athletics.
“The uprooting of an entire family to move to another state with the uncertainty of whether COVID-19 might eventually delay or cancel sports in that state, along with the uncertainty of such a move impacting scholarship offers, seems short-sighted,” writes Niehoff.
As the Bible verse in Judges 21:25 says, “All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”
What was true thousands of years ago still rings true today.