Football in the office

You’re probably wondering where my article is leading after reading the title? Well…It’s definitely not about kicking a ball around in the office.

I’m not a big football fan but I do enjoy observing how team members work together to achieve the same goal. (Pun intended)

I’m writing this today because I’d like to tell you why I believe football and business are very similar.

A football team is made up of a manager, coach and players… one of those players is the captain (who can for all intensive purposes be considered the “team leader”).  Similarly, a company has the same structure, only they don’t kick a ball around or work in a stadium.

It’s important to focus on each role within the team…. the manager ensures that the “team” has direction, the tools that they need to perform their role and support. The coach supports the manager and the team (like an assistant manager would in an office role).  The players as you would imagine are most important.. without them, there is no football…no game.

As a business owner or manager, can you see where I’m headed with this comparison? No team, no business.  I probably don’t need to tell you that, but sadly some businesses lose sight of how important the front line staff are.  Now back to football….   the manager or coach chooses a team captain that is worthy of that role and respected by his team-mates and peers.  Of course he does…. and he chooses his captain based on his ability and skills.  Other players include striker’s and defender’s and you have to be good at one or the other to perform that role on behalf of the team.  Are you following my trend?

Let me use an office role as an example of role assignments gone wrong…. Sally and Steve are great with people, but have been assigned to an administrative role for over a year. They do their job well, but feel unsatisfied and under appreciated. Mary and Mark are out meeting people all the time and would rather be behind a desk because they don’t feel comfortable networking, schmoozing or selling the company services.  They have all “chosen” their roles when they applied for their jobs however, each day they hoped that their manager would notice their strengths and reward them with a role that they’re better suited to.

Would you place a goalkeeper in a striker’s role?  I’m no expert, but It’s my belief that a great goalie is not an expert at every position within the team.

So if your an owner, manager or supervisor in business,  please take a few moments to observe your team members and their strengths.  If you’re a team member, don’t be afraid to speak up if you know you would be more efficient placed in another role.

Football or not, your team can help you score big time if you pay close attention.

Thanks for reading!



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