Is soccer real football?

With the US and England playing in the World Cup Soccer matches this past weekend, it reminded me of a model that I’ve used hundreds of times in coaching others on my team through the years.

It begins with understanding the basics of American football and focuses on playing your position.

In an offensive line (shown as the “O’s” in the graphic below), the primary mission is to block defensive players (the “X’s”) and to protect the quarterback, , , to move the ball forward in order to score points.

Each lineman has a designated area to block. When one player fails to execute as planned, the team can bog down making forward progress more difficult. Every player has to play his position and count on his teammates to execute their assignments to achieve success.

This example works the same for an IT organization. I’ve seen too many IT organizations perform ineffectively because they either:

  • lack focus due to a lack of specific responsibility
  • team members lack the skill to succeed
  • team members wander away from their assignment to help another area

Focus is key. Missed assignments of responsibility or lining up your players without the skills to be successful is a management issue. Once proper responsibilities are established and communicated, and the skills are in place; it is the team member’s responsibility to execute. When they do, success is usually achieved.

Management has to insure the skills are in place and each staff member knows their responsibilities and how to take care of their assignments. When this happens, you simply let the team do what it knows how to do, , , with minor coaching and tweaking when necessary.

Key management points:

  • Assign every team member specific responsibilities
  • Take advantage of strengths and “shore up” your weaknesses
  • Insure each team member has the skills necessary to succeed
  • Provide the tools that allow each person to be successful
  • Expect each team member to succeed individually and to support the team
  • Build your strategy around your team’s capabilities

Oh, by the way, , , CONGRATULATIONS to the US and England in a 1-1 tie, , , and we all know that most people in the world consider “real football” to be soccer.  I’m OK with that until American football season starts.

Go Tennessee !!!      Go Titans !!!

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