In this season of football, there is so much excitement. Crisp, fall days, the bands are playing, tens of thousands of people cheering, lines everywhere. There is so much going on that it’s any wonder that the coaches and players can remain focused on what’s important. Thank goodness for headsets so that the team’s coaches can communicate about what’s happening and how to respond.
Of all the coaches’ input, whose is the most valuable? The head coach? The offensive/defensive coordinators? The position coaches? No, the most valuable input comes from the coach in the coach’s box. The one who can see everything happening in the moment. The one who can anticipate what is likely to happen. The one who sees opportunities that aren’t visible from any perspective except from the coach’s box. And everyone relies on that coach because s/he isn’t restricted by limited visibility, aren’t tainted by high emotion and are able to keep priorities in sync.
This game scenario is no different from you and your work. As a “coach” (leader or manager), you must rely on your experience and perspective that performers are looking to you to provide. They are willing to go all out for success, but if you’re on the field with them, you’re not seeing what you need to see. You’re caught up in the moment. You make decisions that don’t account for unanticipated developments. Your focus is on your specific area of responsibility without regard of how it impacts other areas.
All you can do is react. And you make bad decisions—not because you’re not good, but because you’re uninformed. You’re not connecting people and their efforts. You’re not communicating with the entire team. You’re not working in concert with others so that you can be successful.
If you’re not up in the coach’s box, you’re letting down your people and your clients because you are unable to notice quickly an ever-changing environment where good judgment is critical.
If you don’t do anything today, GET OFF THE FIELD and into the coach’s box. You can’t be in a more important place, regardless of how much work there is to do on the field.