Friday, February 5, 2010

It's fourth down-Punt or go for it?

Punt or go for it?
Interesting insight from David Romer's research at the University of California. He studied decision making by professional football coaches related to "punting or going for it on fourth down."

In short, he discovered that coaches would actually win more games if they went for touchdowns and first downs instead of punting or attempting field goals. Here is the problem: Every coach (and leader) knows that whenever he decides to run a play on fourth he not only sets himself up for potential success he also sets himself up for potential criticism. So ultimately the thought of Monday morning criticism sometimes clouds or even overrides the game day decision to go for it.

Are you with me?
If you are a leader you can probably literally feel the tension of this scenario. On one hand the potential for extreme success--on the other hand the potential for extreme criticism. So in your organization, or sphere of influence, do you punt more or go for it more?...and maybe an even more important question--why?

Bible Example:
In 1 Samuel 15:24 one phrase gives us insight into a major component of the demise of Saul's influence as king. It says, "I was afraid of the people so I gave into them." I recently heard Andy Stanley say that this very thing [fearing what people will do or think] has the potential to de-rail an organization especially when the organization is fragile. He went on to say when we give in, we aren't leading people we are simply taking a poll.

Leadership Question: Will you allow the potential for success be outweighed by the likelihood of criticism? What do you fear losing? Plain and simple leadership is risky business, often lonely, and it frequently puts the bulls eye of criticism on your back. Certainly wisdom must guide us but I don't believe playing it safe is always our best course of action!! Are you leading or taking a poll?

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