When I worked at GTE Communication Systems, the head of our division was a guy named Phil Harrington. Phil was a tennis player - an average tennis player. He would often play other employees who would be afraid to beat him based on his position in the company. Many times I would watch superior players seemingly fail to get to shots and retort "Nice shot Phil" when it really was within their athletic abilities to have returned the ball. The phenomenon became so widely known that when anything suspect happened at GTE in the work environment, we would turn to each other and say "Nice shot Phil."
Our CEO, Carl Bass, plays squash. Actually, Carl is quite a good athlete as he plays multiple sports. Carl founded Ithaca Software whose main product was called HOOPS for Hierarchical Object-Oriented Picture System, but it really got its name one day on the Cornell basketball court in Ithaca, New York. Carl regularly plays squash against other employees. Though Carl is quite good, at our most recent company Christmas party, I asked Carl if the employees let him win. Carl assured me that his opponents beat him regularly. Carl wouldn't have it any other way. "Nice shot Carl."
Leadership is alive in the lab.