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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Paul's Perspective: The No. 1 sport in the world

  • I was asked recently in a group setting by a speaker in the Leadership Phelps County class that I am a part of what the No. 1 sport in the world is. I said soccer. I was wrong. It’s not baseball either. It’s boss watching.
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  • I was asked recently in a group setting by a speaker in the Leadership Phelps County class that I am a part of what the No. 1 sport in the world is.
    I said soccer. I was wrong. It’s not baseball either.
    It’s boss watching.
    We all laughed, but I had to admit. I do it. We all do it.
    We notice what time our boss comes in, when our boss leaves and what our boss is actually doing in their office or back corner?
    We’re curious for many reasons, but one of those reasons is what does it take to be a boss? A manager? A leader?
    Before I go any further, I should clarify that in the Leadership Phelps County class, we recently learned the difference between a leader and a manager.
    Managers are focused on events that encourage decisions, motivate people, are calendar issues, challenge people and are easy. Leaders, on the other hand, are focused on processes that encourage development, mature people, are culture issues, change people and are difficult.
    Leadership takes time to develop. It’s developed daily, not in a day, and so maybe that’s why we’re so fascinated with what our bosses are doing or not doing.
    In your job, you probably perform some routine activities each day, but did you ever think back to your first day on the job?
    You might have been nervous or you might not have known what to do or expect when you were asked to do those things for the first time.
    But over time you developed a process to do handle those responsibilities and now they seem mundane. You can do them with your eyes closed now.
    Foundations
    Speaking of first days, I learned a lot about Phelps County in its infancy in the Leadership Phelps County class.
    My classmates and I got to take a trip of sorts back in time. We went from being prisoners in the first county jail to iron workers at a site where Maramec Spring Park now sits to the opening of the old Edwin Long Hotel, where Phelps County Bank is located currently.
    I learned that the Confederates held the county courthouse for five weeks before being run off by Union soldiers from St. Louis. I learned that Rolla is named after the city of Raleigh, Ill., original home of the first settler.
    I also learned not to complain the next time I am stuck at a railroad crossing, waiting for a train to pass.
    The railroad is to be thanked for forming this county and local communities. It played a big part in the founding of this area.
    Page 2 of 2 - It’s interesting to learn about our foundations. It helps to know where you came from, even though I’m a transplant here, to help know where you are going down the road.
    I only wonder if the employees who worked at the hotel, iron furnaces or on the railroad watched their bosses as much as we watch ours.
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