Often in work, as in life, we are focusing too much on correcting people’s weaknesses, where it might be more rewarding to focus on existing strengths instead. Great coaches seem to understand that.
My dear friend G Rajaraman, one of our most experienced sport journalists, recently invited me to a group discussion titled Indian Football at the Crossroads. Even though I was there for barely 30 mins, I fortunately heard the talk by Hugh Kim Lewis, a UEFA A Licence coach from England, who has been running football coaching progammes in India for 6 months now.
Hugh quoted an anecdote about Diego Maradona’s early football coaching. Where some were concerned about his being ‘left footed’ – magical left foot, with right foot that perhaps didn’t know it belonged to the same body. The coach/es decided that rather than focus on bettering the right foot, which Maradona perhaps needed to simply stand, they’d rather focus on further strengthening the magic of his left. Legendary Maradona was on his way…
We did a ‘what’s your left foot’ exercise for our team a few days ago. We asked the person what they thought was their left foot and added every team member’s assessment of them.
So, while intuitively we all know Amita and Rajika and Swetha’s and Neha and everyone’s strengths, we were able to go deeper and, further, build hubs constituting more than one team members. Some, who are relatively new to the team, were able to learn quickly about their colleagues, as were able to share with them their own ‘left foot’ skills.
We’ve decided to benefit by focusing on what people are intuitively great at, look for team’s that complement each other, rather than build clones.
What’s your ‘left foot’ skill? Do leave your comments.
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