Football is a game of risk and reward. Calculated risk and reward.
If you’re a defensive coach, you must make calculated decisions on when to blitz the quarterback. Your upside is a sack and loss of yardage. The downside is your weakness is exposed and the quarterback beats you with a deep play. It comes down to who executes the best. Most championship defenses are willing to take chances to gain the upside. If you’re familiar with the prevent defense, it’s a passive strategy for when a team has a lead. They play everyone deep to avoid a big play, yet invariably by playing not to lose, they give up too much ground, too many points, and lose momentum. The very best defenses are ones that will take chances because they trust in each other and are willing to bet on themselves.
If you’re an offensive coach, you can also choose how you want to play. Many teams take the less risky route by throwing all the short routes and “check downs.” While often effective to move the ball, they frequently get bogged down in the red zone (20 yards out from the end zone). They often must settle for less points. The successful teams mix in a good amount of riskier, downfield throws. The chances for interceptions and sacks increase, but the upside is a game changing and momentum shifting play. They take prudent risks, based on their skill sets and ability to execute.
What’s this mean for you?
Do you play prevent defense? Do you settle for moving the ball between the 20 yard lines but avoid the big mistake? Championship business professionals are the same as championship football teams. They learn to be smart, cunning, and aggressive when betting on themselves. Being in business is a “game” fraught with peril. It’s not for the faint of heart. You will run into situations where you will have to take risks in your language (how you talk to clients and prospects to be influential); your skill development (investing in professional development and coaching); and new initiatives (products/services). The championships in this game are won not by those that play a prevent defense or a conservative offense. They are won by those that bet on themselves and make bold moves in the spirit of winning the game.
The Super Bowl is next week and the two teams playing (including my favorite team) have done this and look at the results. What about you?
P.S. My previous post was about the “open gate” and what it means to be “unleashed.” This is a great example of running through that gate…
Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. all rights reserved