As the AFL season comes to the business end, time for a football metaphor…
“The most important person in a club is the one with the ball in their hand”
Decisions are best made at the level of organisation where there is the most expertise, knowledge and understanding. For leaders, this means ‘passing the ball’.
Richmond’s Sam Lloyd has struggled to secure a permanent place in the Tigers’ senior lineup. He has never been able to take his place in the team for granted. Despite his good form, he missed selection in the Tigers’ Premiership team last year and is likely to miss out again this finals campaign despite being part of the team late in the year.
Seeing him miss again, reminded me of a game in the 2016 season against a powerful Sydney Swans team. The ball was in his hand when the siren rang, and his team needed a goal for victory.
It wasn’t an easy shot, obviously made more challenging by the situation. It had been a tough year; the club was under great scrutiny as performances had failed to meet elevated expectations. It was a club under pressure.
At this point, no one other than Sam can influence the outcome. None of his teammates, none of his coaches, none of the hundreds of thousands watching at the game or on TV, many of whom would know little of Sam’s prowess with ball in hand.
But those who knew their footy understood the ball was in good hands. While Sam is a journeyed player, taking a long time to find his way into an AFL club, wherever he played, regardless of the standard, he kicked goals.
He confidently went through his normal goalkicking routine, and it never looked like missing.
It was a great Tiger victory, a highlight in an otherwise disappointing season for the club. This is my drawing of the event as it unfolded.
It is a wonderful metaphor for leaders…teach, grow and empower your people by always having the confidence and belief to pass the ball.