2012 – spring Issue

Leader Message "" Play All Four Quarters

I recently read the book The Sacred Acre that talks about the leadership and challenges of Ed Thomas, the 2005 National High School Football Coach of the Year. Ed faced many changes throughout his career and was tragically killed in 2008. Ed's legacy had many facets. The one that caught my attention was his philosophy to "?play all four quarters'. Coach Thomas expected his players to come out strong and maintain a level of intensity through-out the game, no matter the weather conditions, the score, or the situation.

As leaders in your company, setting the tone with your team can have a huge impact on the team's productivity. Often, leaders and team members are too casual about the planning and wrap-up portions of a project. Leaders must set the tone and direction to play all four quarters, beginning with project planning. Thorough planning ensures that your team understands project needs. It gives them time to ask key questions and obtain information they need to do their part. Lead your team into a strong finish with project wrap-up that ensures no loose ends are left behind.

Coach Thomas and his "?play all four quarters' legacy taught his players a valuable life lesson. Take advantage of your next project opportunity to set a similar tone for your team. Encourage individuals to bring their enthusiasm for the team, to focus on winning solutions, and to put forth their best effort for the goal or task at hand. Learn from Coach Thomas and condition your team to "?play all four quarters'.