Lance Armstrong and the Dark Side of Leadership – Part 1 of 2

I’m no cycling expert or a hard core fan of Lance Armstrong’s career but I know of his doings and the legend he tried to build. After watching the Lance’s interview with Oprah I came up with idea to figure out how many Maxwell leadership laws were taken to the dark side.

Law of the Lid – Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of Effectiveness.

The truth is that the principles of leadership apply regardless of the motive and intentions of the leader. Doping and subjective moral judgment aside, there’s no question Lance was very successful with the US Postal/Discovery cycling team.  They simply dominated the professional cycling circuit.  It takes vision, commitment, and resolve to maintain the high standards it requires for a team to win that many titles.

It is here where we must also consider the effectiveness of the doping scheme. If it were easy, anyone could have done it. But it didn’t happen. From my perspective the leader made the difference.

The Law of Influence – The True Measure of Leadership is Influence, Nothing Less Nothing More

During the interview Lance describes himself as a person that controls everything in life. Lance’s confidence and commanding poise probably aided in controlling the members of his team. Whether it was bullying, scolding, or strong remarks, the team followed and complied with his orders. After all, they were on a winning team and who doesn’t want to be on a winning team?

Obviously, this influence was only temporary, or else, the scam story would have never come out. Bullying and intimidation will only work for a short amount of time.

The Law of the Inner Circle – A Leader’s Potential is Determined by Those Closest to Him

With Chris CarMichael as trainer and Johan Bruyneel as team director, Lance became unstoppable. Doping or not there’s no question these individuals had a lot to do with Armstrong’s success. From the training regimen to finding teammates Chris and Johan maximized Armstrong physical abilities in order to win at all costs. Armstrong himself credits his team for his success.

Where did it go wrong? This doping scheme can’t be all Lance’s doing. Someone had to come up with the plan, the resources, the scheduling, the money transferring, etc. This would have not being possible by 1 man alone. Hence, the inner circle must have known. This inner circle probably included cycling teammates. Think about it, why did they speak only after they left the team? Why not immediately after they found out of the cheating?

The Lid, Influence, and Inner Circle, powerful laws that make a difference regardless of who is using them.

Check in next week for Part 2 (Picture, Victory, and Sacrifice)

In the meantime, share your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Lance Armstrong and the Dark Side of Leadership – Part 1 of 2

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  1. I would also question how he managed to pass so many drug tests for so long without the drugs showing up unless someone elses urine was being used. What example did that set for the team? or were others also using drugs as if it was okay for the leader it was okay for them also. Sad end to what was already a magnificent career, come back from cancer to win time and time again, too sad!

    1. That’s right. He couldn’t have done it alone. I touch on this concept in part 2 and the Law of the Inner Circle. I also talk about the example part.

      As some would say, dissapointment can only happen when we have high expectations of something or someone. We wanted to believe this story of a great comeback. Now it’s just nothing more than a scam.

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