Who Wins the Game?

At “press time” this article was written before this year’s Super Bowl Sunday. However, with great psychic confidence I’ll predict the Super Bowl champion a week in advance.

The winner will be the team that’s able to FIND A WAY to win.

Every football game I’ve watched over the decades has displayed some degree of success and failure on both sides, but what I’ve noticed is that similar to life, plans in football rarely go as predicted. I had the pleasure of suffering through one singular season as a junior high football player in the 80’s.

Our beloved Murchison Matadors practiced and practiced in the 100° Texas sun every day. We went over many complicated plays, and it seemed like we never really learned any of them very well. It seemed to me in my 12-year-old wisdom that we needed to master a plan and stick to it so we could methodically outplay our opponent.

What the coach knew that I did not, is that when it comes game time, stuff happens. Stuff happens that prevents methodical thinking, and we just needed to prepare for a general melee. I quickly learned what that meant during my first game.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Watching a football game from the stands is much different than playing it on the field. From the stands you can see what’s happening. From the stands you can tell when a play starts and when it ends.

From the field, all I experienced was chaos. Painful chaos. I saw and felt full-grown, pre-teen boys trampling all over us poor Matadors. It seemed like one, long, 3-hour play with no rest. All the training was forgotten. Our battered bodies and scorched minds had no memory of a plan. We were outrun, outplayed and definitely outscored. The Martin Eagles had found a way, and we had clearly lost ours.

Like football, business and life can seem like chaotic battles.

Preparing and practicing certainly have its merits, but when we “step onto the field” doesn’t it help to remain flexible and resourceful?

I notice I cause problems for myself when I get overly attached to my preparations. One of my many blind spots is around overly relying on my preparation. “Winging it” is rarely my first choice. However, things do tend to work out well when I trust my ability to adapt and find a way.

Which one are you?

One who plans?

One who wings it?

We’d love to know and we’d love to see you at our Third Annual Leadership Summit this Valentine’s Day in Austin, Texas. We’ll get to the basis of our belief system that has us plan it, wing it or otherwise.


Fundamental of the Week #13: FIND A WAY Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Take personal responsibility. Be innovative, assertive, and take initiative. 

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