Oct 28, 2011

Lessons to Learn from the Indiannapolis Colts

A friend of mine said I'm a "black cat", because whenever I pick a football team to cheer, it is most certain to lose. Well, if you follow the NFL, you probably think that's true, as my favorite team - the Indiannapolis Colts - haven't won a single game since the start of the season. That's freaking unlucky, right? I'm already getting to the point when I rather not watch any game of my team, but watch other games and other teams play.

From the start, over and over the problem seemed to be the same: the teams Quarterback, Peyton Manning got injured and had to be operated several times, leaving him out of the game. This seemed to mark the team from the start of the season, connecting lost game after lost game. I remember I got to like the Colts because they were an aggressive team, that played always to win to to lose by the minimal difference. However this season, without Manning and lead by Curtis Painter, they have been playing like they would rather be doing something else. They step on the field as if thinking "Manning isn't with us, so we are going to lose anyway". They don't run what's need to be ran when chasing a player with the ball, they don't muscle up enough to stop the offensive, won't try enough to intercept... Last time the QB wasn't even paying attentiong at the begining of the game and didn't catch the ball when it was passed to him. What the fuck?

Then slowly I realized: these guys actually laid all the job and all their hopes on Manning. The current QB isn't prepared, wasn't prepared but isn't even trying to assume his role - because that's Peyton's job, and the rest of the team instead of actively trying to group up and make the game work, just hang around like a band of sorry assed livestock. Now sure, we could stone the Colts for being such bitches, but shall we?

Actually what we see happening with the Colts isn't something unknown to others. As it happens, in many groups and even in the individuals themselves there is a bad tendency to lay all the job and all the hopes on one skill or only on the one team member that can do the job. Often bosses and coworkers automatically give the projects to that one person who knows how to do the job. Of course, you want a job well done, and it's better if the one who knows how to do it does it, but in a team of many people, why the others don't try and work to get the skill needed to do it themselves too? In the family also people tend to leave certain tasks or certain chores or certain duties to one of them, and all the others just don't do it, nor try to learn how to do it.

As individuals, how many of us, for instance, put all our effort to develop one skill or bet everything on one skill. Women who put their entire future on their looks, guys who put their entire life on money, people who put all their hopes on their acquintances, on getting what they want through connections or anything as fleeting. Maybe something more broad, like focusing your entire life on your career, or your family or one hobby, or a political party... you name it. The thing is that when you put all your eggs in one basket - so to say - either because you depend on your partner to cook for you or fix the plumbing, or you relay on your coworker to take care of the maths of the project, or do the paperwork to get it going - despite that being their strong point, you are exposing yourself, or your team to a Colts-case. What if that coworker leaves the team? What if your partner and you break up or they die or get very ill? What if you lose your looks, lose your money, your connections and friends won't help you anymore or can't do so? What if something happens and you can't continue with your career, if your family decides that they want to do their own life or your hobby stops being interesting?

Well, of you centered all your life on that one skill, that one thing, that one interest, that one Peyton Manning in your life, when you lose it, you become a Colts team lead by a mediocre Curtis Painter. It becomes evident that your team can't even tie their own shoelaces, so their reputation at work will fall dramatically, the family that depends on one person to do something suddenly will be at loss and chaos will break, and the person... well, the person will feel like there's no way on Earth they can go on. It happens. Like a car from which you've ripped off the motor: just a pile of scraps.

Now, unlike in the stupid motivational tale of the Cow, where the lesson was "kill your Peyton Manning and raise new ones", I would say, you shouldn't have to separate yourself from your Peyton Manning, but while you have it, train all your other skills, prepare yourself to the eventual moment when your Manning gets pulled away of your game, be ir for a time or forever.

My team is now a load of crap, but at least they can teach us all a lesson: prepare yourself and prepare your team for the time when your best feature, your best element falls out of the game. Prepare yourself, your team , your skills, as a well working, cohesive group, where the sudden lack of one skill, one member doesn't bring down the whole.

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