Sure, it's real easy to pick apart Tony Romo's decisions in slow motion after we have had time to study the defense and their blitz package frame by frame. After we have had 5 minutes to dissect 2 seconds frozen in time, it's real easy to blame Tony for not picking up that critical first down with no time left on the clock. It's easy because anyone can pick apart history after it has already happened. Commentators get paid tons of money to criticize plays that coaches (who get paid tons more money) design on the fly in the heat of battle. The point is this. Anyone can be a commentator and criticize their team, but only a select few are capable of coaching their team to victory.
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Add your Leadership to this AnalogyThere are 2 types of leaders: coaches and commentators. Coaches lead their players to victory, and commentators tell others why the players won the game or screwed it up. Here are just a few things that makes your leadership more like a coach or a commentator.
- Prepare their players to be victorious.
- Praise the team for the win.
- Take the blame for the loss.
- Capitalize on mistakes as learning opportunities for growth.
- Use performance data to find strengths in individual players to improve the team as a whole.
- Use results to prepare for the next opponent.
- Have meaningful relationships with their players.
- Question players why the game was won or lost.
- Praise the team for the win.
- Blame the team for the loss.
- Magnify mistakes as reasons for failure.
- Use performance data to praise winners and criticize losers.
- Review results to promote winners and vilify losers.
- Have superficial relationships with players from a distance.
Coaches are proactive. They move their teams forward, and they do that by building strong relationships bound by strong structures for working together. Commentators don't build anything, and they criticize everything. In short, leaders consciously choose to be proactive or reactive. They choose to build for the future or criticize the present. As leaders, we have a choice. We can spend our time coaching our organizations for the future or criticizing them for the current place that they are.
I don't know about you, but I choose to coach for the future. I can't do anything about the results of the past. I can't bring back the glory days, but I can make new glory days. I can criticize the Dallas Cowboys all I want to, but I, as a commentator, have no power. Only Jerry Jones and the Cowboys organization have the power to make change. (That's a suggestion, Jerry!) The same goes for leadership. You can criticize your organization all you want to, but the only person that can improve the organization is you, the leader. If you're the leader, move from the reactive mode of commentating and into the proactive mode of coaching. If you're not the leader, quit commentating on the leader's performance and start helping the leader by being proactive. If you can stay away from commentating and commit to coaching, you may just find that your efforts will take your team back to the Super Bowl.
The choice is yours...