Bring your A-game (not your O game)

Success in sport is all about playing your ‘A game’. Being your best self through preparation and training not just for the game but for the actions during and after – showing modesty and humility in success and graciousness in defeat. Success is a mindset.

If everyone on the team plays their ‘A-game’ the results are impressive. So, how do we apply the ‘A-game’ mindset from sport to the workplace?

Three A’s that bring it:

Appraise: work out who will make up your dream team. Consider individual strengths and determine what your players want to achieve.

Allow: empower your team to deliver on your plan. Just as the coach sits on the sideline and stays out of the game, allow your team to demonstrate why they’re on your team.

Acknowledge: reinforce the great work they’re doing with support and encouragement. Celebrate their successes to build confidence and momentum.

Sounds easy, right? Yet some leaders inadvertently play their ‘O game’ by demonstrating ‘O behaviours’ that impact the whole team and breed ‘O results’.

Three O’s that will undermine performance:

Obstruct: standing in the way by seeking to control the game or allowing your structure to bottleneck at you will slow your team down.

Object: blocking the growth of your team in the belief they’ll never do the job as well as you do. Often, with your support, they’ll end up doing it better if given the chance.

Obliviousness: carrying on blissfully working in the way you are, unaware of the impact your approach is having on your team.

Take an honest look in the mirror and focus on eliminating your ‘O game’ behaviours. Don’t think you have any? Ask your team for an honest appraisal, allow them to action their improvement ideas, acknowledge the results, and commit to further developing your self-awareness.

“If you’ve had a good time playing the game you’re a winner even if you lose.” – Malcolm Forbes