One of my closest friends and I talk leadership constantly, and most of his leadership analogies have to do with sports. He is a sports fanatic. He knows the players’ names, their stats and where they went to college. He knows the coaches, where they played professional football, how they got into coaching…
I, on the other hand, like sports, watch it, have my favorite teams and know where they stand in the rankings… but that’s about it.
When we talk leadership, he has a lot of great analogies, and I throw in some counterpoint. There are so many great concepts of sports that work great when talking leadership, but the one that works best is the idea of what success looks like.
In sports, success is crystal clear.
If you play in the NFL, ultimate success is winning the Superbowl. If you’re a major league baseball player, ultimate success is winning the World Series.
And there are stats for everything and everybody. During a football game, a graphic will appear on the screen with the number of completed passes, interceptions and rushing yards for the quarterback. You instantly know if the quarterback is succeeding just by his personal stats! And then the announcers proceed to compare your stats to other teams’ stats! It doesn’t always sound pretty, but at least you know if you’re succeeding or not.
So, why is it important that you know what success looks like? Well, how can you succeed if you don’t have a very clear idea of what true success looks like for your specific position?
It sounds overly simple, but it’s true. If you don’t know the goal, you don’t know if you are hitting the mark.
If you’re not hitting the mark in sports and your stats aren’t where they should be, you’ll be sitting the bench, facing the threat of being traded or being forced to retire.
That same idea applies to most every other job.
Do you know what success looks like for you? If not, talk to your pastor, or whomever you answer to, and ask them. Make sure that you know what winning the Superbowl looks like for you.