Monday, June 21, 2010

Understanding Your Place in the Team

Sports provides some great analogies and illustrations for the everyday manager and the everyday employee to use to better understand the workplace environment.  Today let us look at the roles within teams.

Sports teams usually have a combination of the following sorts of players -
  • Starters,
  • Reserves,
  • Developing Talent, and
  • New Recruits.
Knowing which one of these positions you fit into and currently hold can help you better understand the whys and how's of your job.

The starter - usually means you have had time to develop your skills, you understand the game plan, you have chemistry with your fellow team mates and you are reliable without being boring.

If you are a reserve - this probably means you are good at what you do but there is someone who is that little bit better than you are.  This isn't a crisis situation but it allows you the opportunity to watch what the starters are doing and to work on your own game out of the spotlight and the glare of watching crowds.

Developing talent - is usually a younger person who has been in the team for a while but still doesn't fully understand the game plan or doesn't yet have the same levels of chemistry with the remaining team members as the reserves do.  Developing talent is also usually on rotation which means they are exposed to the spotlight every so often and then are sent back to training for more development.

New recruits - doesn't need much explanation.  The great thing about being a new recruit is that you haven't yet been in the team long enough for your skills and personality to have been pigeon holed.  So the new recruit can showcase their skills and grasp opportunities that developers and reserves may not have the same opportunity to show off.  Recruits need to make the most of every chance they get to impress and build.

Starting on a team is never a guaranteed position.  Neither is being on the bench.  One thing great coaches understand is the capability and potential of their players and they have the skill to know when someone needs a rest, when they are peaking or when it is time to cut them loose.

So which type of player do you think you are?  Do you understand your role and how pivotal it is?

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