Leadership and The 2 Minute Drill
Another great pro football season has drawn to a close. Avid sports fans like myself take this time to stop and reflect on the season past. We also consider the needs and possibilities of our favorite team’s future lying just ahead.
From the end of the regular season until now, the teams themselves will take a similar path. They will spend time to look back on the year, analyzing the successes and identifying their needs in order to march toward the goals of the season ahead.
Kind of like the 2-minute drill in football.
That’s the time where the game is at it’s most critical, waning moments. The time where the victory is often decided. Where proper game management is essential and all players need to communicate and perform at an even higher level in order to win. It’s a time frame to stop, plan, and make the final push towards victory.
It’s the time when the quarterback – the field general, the leader – takes the team to the next level. Everyone – whether on the field, the sidelines, or looking out from above – gets dialed in. As soon as the clock ticks down, there is an automatic mindset that launches throughout the team, and the quarterback guides everyone in executing the drill.
There are times in our organizations as leaders that we are up against the clock. The deadline is looming. The project is not coming together. Morale is starting to tank. The financials are coming up short. The workload is piling up. Pressure is mounting as the clock ticks down.
It’s in these times when the game is on the line, that we need to get into our 2-Minute Drill mode. Our team depends on us, and we need to elevate everyone to the moment.
So how do we execute the 2-Minute Drill in our leadership roles? Here are 7 examples from the playing field that can easily help us in our organizations:
- Take a time out. Breathe. Relax. Regroup. Get your mind settled a bit. A step back is usually beneficial before lunging forward.
- Survey the playing field. Look at what your up against. Take a moment to size up the situation. Analyze. Then “strategize” how you’re going to counter what you’re up against.
- Communicate with your team. Yes, it’s always a challenge. And it gets even harder and more critical here. Yet it is amazing how much clarity you can bring when you have no choice. Outline clear and concise expectations. Get acknowledgement and understanding. If this falters, take another time out. Don’t rush ahead without everyone knowing their routes, their roles.
- Change the game plan. Sometimes things just aren’t working out. You may need to switch plays. Or tinker with the details. Or run a plan that hasn’t been used for quite some time. The goal is the main thing at this point; the method is not the goal. As the saying goes: “Goals are in concrete, plans are in sand.”
- Switch players. This is another challenging move. You will most likely need your “aces in their places”. But there may be a rising star that is ready to shine in their heroic moment, waiting in the wings. What do you do? Know your players, know their strengths. Put them in roles that will set them, and the team, up for success.
- Shake off the mistakes. You’ve fumbled the communication. A team player dropped the ball on the analysis. Mistakes happen. But they don’t necessarily end the game. Quickly correct them and get back in the game. Shrug them off and don’t let them bog the team or yourself down.
- Keep motivating. Now is the time to get more excited. Talk success to everyone. Let them see it, smell it, taste it. Don’t let them take their eyes off the goal for a second. Let them know how close they are, and you’ll see virtually everyone dig deep within to bring the goal to reality.
How can we effectively use the 2-Minute Drill in our leadership game? It only takes 2 minutes to pause. To think. Start a course of action. Make the call. To inspire. Make this drill an effective part our your leadership repertoire. It’s time well spent.
(image courtesy of givemn.razoo.com)