Triple Crown winners are rare.
Many organizations have established awards for various performances and there always seems to be a special triplicate award for winning three other awards.
Country Music has a triple crown for winning Entertainer of the Year, Top Vocalist and Top new Artist all in the same year. Carrie Underwood was the last to win the crown.
Baseball, bowling, hiking, and toastmasters all have a crown for three wins. Even the Boy Scouts have a triple crown for high adventures. That's another crown I won't be wearing.
Of course, many celebrated the winning of horse racing's Triple Crown this past weekend. Comets come along more often than Triple Crown winners. And I can't see comets that far away with my vision!
But I watched closely as American Pharoah raced the 1.5-mile track for the crowning win. I sat on the edge of my seat and yelled, even though no one was with me. This was the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the crown. I think I have been cheering for another winner for all 37 years.
I noticed people in Paris were watching while waiting for the tennis French Open to begin. The Nielsen ratings reported almost 13 million homes were tuned to the race. It was the highest rated NBC sporting event since an AFC championship football game. Countless others watched the race at Buffalo Wild Wings-type hangouts.
The pursuit of the crown brings people together to cheer for a winner. Yes, America still likes a winner. And therein lies a leadership lesson.
Leaders need victories. Credibility develops in the number of races won. Regardless of how nice a chef leads his team, if the chef can't cook, the chef can't lead. Competency always establishes a leader. Character can certainly disqualify a leader but rarely will character alone hoist up a leader.
Leaders don't need a crown, flowers or a cheering crowd.
They just need to win.
"Everyone who strives for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one" (1 Cor. 9:25).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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