The most important person

by | Jun 24, 2021

Watching the football last week.

Geelong versus Western Bulldogs. Two contenders, playing for the opportunity to contend. Talented football teams, well-led and well-coached.

The final siren sounds. The Western Bulldogs are a point in front. In this crazy game invented over a century and a half ago, someone decided the game is not always over when the final siren goes.

This is one of those occasions.

Seconds before the siren, Geelong’s Gary Rohan stands under the ball to take a pressure mark. It is now a simple equation. He kicks the goal, his team wins.

It is a tough kick. Forty metres out, on an angle. Tired legs, slippery conditions, high stakes.

Idea:

The most important person in a club is the one with the ball in their hand.

The broadcast turns to respective coaches boxes as the reality of the moment hits Geelong’s Chris Scott and the Western Bulldog’s Luke Beveridge. The outcome is out of their hands. Hours of preparation from the coaching and support teams, there is nothing they can do, nor can the 41 other players who have just given everything for the past two hours of intense, high-quality football.

They can only watch on, reduced to spectators, the same status as the thousands in the stadium and the half-million people watching from their loungerooms.

The ball is in good hands.

Gary Rohan has a system for kicking goals, and that is all he thinks about, blocking out the noise and pressure of the moment.

As James Clear says in his excellent book, Atomic Habits:

“If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”

Gary Rohan kicks truly.

His team wins.

And the Geelong team celebrate, no more so than Chris Scott, a man who, from time to time, gives us insight into the emotional highs and lows of his lived leadership experience in professional sport and all the expectations that come with it.

What Chris knows, as does any coach, is:

“The most important person in a club is the one with the ball in their hand.”

The reason, decisions should be made at the level of the organisation where there is the most knowledge and information.

This means knowing when to pass the ball and when to hold onto it.

The art and science of leadership.

Our role as leader is to teach, grow and empower individuals who can be trusted in any given situation, and find out how they handle the pressure of the moment, by passing them the ball.

Quote:

“We are neither what we think we are nor entirely what we are about to become…”

David Whyte, Consolations

Recommendation:

“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” – Netflix

To keep fit, I cycle on a road bike. Yes, I am a MAMIL. Cycling gets tricky in the winter months, and I’m not one to take too many risks on wet and dark roads, which undoubtedly are wetter and darker living in Daylesford.

I therefore safely negotiate a virtual ride on Zwift or TrainerRoad on a Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer, all of which I recommend, which gives me an excuse to binge on whatever viewing takes my fancy.

I confess, I’ve never had any real interest in motorsport.

I have received a heap of recommendations for Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive, but was reluctant given my lack of interest in the sport.

I started watching, and I am in.

It epitomises decision making in a high-stakes and unforgiving environment and all the consequences that go with it. It is excellent, and I am becoming a Formula 1 convert.

…and a timeless song lyric:

Supertramp – “Fool’s Overture”

I do enjoy a song that builds.

This has the added dimension of Winston Churchill’s famous “We shall never surrender” in the intro.

History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybody’s sleeping, the boats put out to sea
Borne on the wings of time
It seemed the answers were so easy to find
“Too late, ” the prophets (profits) cry
The island’s sinking, let’s take to the sky
Called the man a fool, stripped him of his pride
Everyone was laughing up until the day he died
And though the wound went deep
Still, he’s calling us out of our sleep
My friends, we’re not alone
He waits in silence to lead us all home

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Cameron Schwab
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