I’ve been watching a lot of children’s soccer games lately and one thing has stuck out to me. It’s really easy to distinguish the good players from the less experienced players. The less experienced players run around after the ball, chasing it around as it is kicked from one side to another. And, when they face off against another player, they jump in the air, kicking at the ball, while turning their back in case the other player happens to get a foot on the ball.
Experienced players play the game differently.
Experienced players watch where the ball is going and move there. Or, they stand outside the mob, waiting for the eventual kick that sends the ball away from the group…where they happen to be. Then they have a free lane, with almost nobody else around them so they can run up the field and score a goal.
They also don’t jump when attacking a ball that’s in the air. Instead they wait for the ball to hit the ground, where they can then either trap it, or in most cases, just kick it toward the other sides goal.
I see these same things happening in businesses as well.
Experienced people know when to wait, sit down, and talk about the issues. They don’t flail around. Instead they have a plan. They are ‘watching the ball.’ When they time comes, and the opportunity arrives, they know how to execute in the most efficient manner, instead of flailing around.
Inexperienced people instead are so focused on what is immediately in front of them, that they fail to see the small stuff that is out there which is going to build into the next fire they need to put out. Instead of being proactive, they spend most all their time focused on putting out fires.
So what kind of person are you?
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a mix of both. There are areas where I can see what I need to do and prepare a head of time and then put my plans into motion when I need to. There are other times when I cannot seem to get my head above water.
So, what do you do about it?
Get people around you who can help.
- A friend
- A co-worker
- A spouse
- A family member
- A clergyman
- Or any combination of the above.
- Masterminds are a good idea as well.
Anybody who knows you well enough and has enough distance from the area you feel you are struggling with so they can provide some perspective. Sometimes all they have to do is listen and they can give some great insight.
I know that as I struggled with some areas recently, talking it over with somebody helped me gain clarity. They didn’t have to solve the problem for me, but just talking about it with somebody else, got the issue out in the open and it made working through it much easier.