It’s important at some point in your career to realize what you can and cannot do as a professional. Once you realize your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, limitations and opportunities, you will have a much happier career.
Take my soccer coaching career as an example. Now I’m not a soccer guy. Far from it. But I do love seeing my boys (8 and 5 years old) in competition and running out there. One day, I get asked to help out the main coach at practice. I was hooked.
My soccer coaching skills consist of a little stretching, some fun, humor and a lot of energy focused on one thing – “get to the ball!” For pre-K to second grade, it has worked out well. I have a great winning percentage, happy boys and appreciative parents who give me gift cards at the season-ending pizza party.
In marketing, sometimes you also have to deploy a “get to the ball” strategy to make things happen. Part of our purpose as a nimble and flexible agency is to make things happen and often times we do that with the “get to the ball” mentality.
What’s my point?
Actually, I have two points. Understand who you are as a professional. I came to terms with what I do best and don’t do as well a while ago and am happier for it. In soccer, I am hanging up my whistle after this season because these kids need more than I could offer. If they want to get better, “get to the ball” coaching isn’t going to help them. But hopefully “get to the ball” is instilled in them as a foundation for future learning of all kinds.
My second point is that in business, the “get to the ball” mentality needs to be employed more often. We often use the words “strategy” and “ROI” and “analysis” – which is fine – but often times are used as a crutch to not do anything. You can “get to the ball” and be thoughtful and planful at the same time. In this day and age, make it happen and learn on the fly. Do it with purpose and with an end goal in mind. There is a time and place for planning and strategic thinking, but don’t let that stop you from trying to “get to the ball” to make it happen for you and your organization.