Skip to main content

Lessons from Soccer and Recent Mistakes

I recently recalled one of my most vulnerable experiences. (You can find a cut at the story here, too.) In this case, it was how I was cut from the varsity soccer team both my junior and senior years. I shared the story to illustrate the lessons I’ve learned through soccer.

As I reflected on this experience again and while meeting with a young entrepreneur recently, I recalled the following lessons from soccer:
  • You’re only as good as your last game. This is actually not true, but it sets up for some great motivation for your next game.
  • You will make mistakes during games. However, the game keeps going. You need to, too.
  • You and everyone else will be caught up in the game. Realize that what happens on the field can affect what happens off it. Realize when mistakes and emotions occur. Realize there’s a season full of games. Realize there are years of seasons.
I’ve thought about these a lot recently and the need for authenticity and vulnerability. In this way, a couple mistakes that have occurred recently that I hadn’t thought about before:
  • Collateral damages. I have a “shopping list” of people who I’d like to work with. I’ve worked with many in the past. As I build out my team now and consider future endeavors, I think about this list. Further, that list contains persons who are part of teams of people I know. When I consider the people I want to work with, I think about the opportunities available for each individual. This, however, can fly in the face of the others on the team – the potential for collateral damage amongst individual relationships.
  • Being impulsive. Yes, I can be impulsive. Couple this with my love for language and phrases, and I have a recipe to say the wrong things too quickly. I appreciate the way authors express thoughts or how orators influence crowds. My excitement, then, can cause me to use phrases that may not actually echo what I mean. In today’s world with rapid, instant messaging, this can be dangerous.
It’s funny as I think about soccer. Truly great, experienced players are thoughtful, calm, and patient. Read: not impulsive. Recent mistakes have illustrated little in the way of experience.
Especially under duress, I realize the need to reach deep for patience and thoughtfulness. However, business is not like a game. Sometimes, you don’t get to keep playing. Sometimes, things don’t just stay on the field.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

You Make Time for What (and Who) Matters

I’ve always been a big proponent that you make time for the things and people that matter. Sounds simple, right? Then, why do so many not implement this better in their lives? Let me take a moment to recognize this more explicitly.
I touched on Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” in last week’s post. In it, she shares a story of a woman who had a leak in her home. Coordinating with plumbers, and getting everything resolved, the woman estimated that it probably took seven hours of attention. That’s seven hours of “stuff” the woman hadn’t planned on doing. If you were to ask her (or most anyone) to find seven hours in the week before, she’d have told you, “heck, no, I don’t have seven hours. I’m busy!”
I was thinking of Laura’s talk in conjunction with Jacob Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life. Specifically, I’m aligning “making time” with Christensen’s Resources-Processes-Priorities framework. We make (process) time (resources) for the things th…

Vertical SaaS? Horizontal SaaS? It’s All News to Me

Not sure why, but I have only recently heard of a term called “Vertical SaaS”. Okay, there’s also “Horizontal SaaS”, too. Based on some light research, looks like vertical SaaS is also a growing trend and the number of companies fewer than horizontal SaaS providers.
Vertical SaaS borrows its moniker from the concept of vertical integration whereby there is more control over a supply chain from raw materials to point-of-sale. Here, vertical SaaS companies focus on a niche market (industry) offering a solution that enables more process control.
Horizontal SaaS providers get really good at a particular offering, and widen their market to reach scale. Their focus is on breadth of market, and thus, its sales and marketing strategies can require more resources.
Many vertical SaaS companies (such as Veeva Systems, Guidewire, Fleetmatics) are doing well usurping legacy systems of traditionally slow-tech-adoption industries. Here, vertical companies develop a best-of-breed product, and focu…

Leadership Take-Aways from Two of NCAA’s Most Successful Coaches

On my recent Delta flight, I read an interesting leadership article in Delta’s Sky magazine – the feature piece being an interview of two of the NCAA’s most successful coaches – Coach MikeKrzyzewski (Coach “K”) of Duke’s men’s basketball team and Coach Urban Meyer of Ohio State football with five and three national championships, respectively.
Given these two coaches’ storied careers, their leadership has incredible sustainability. Here are my take-aways from the article: Both coaches took leave of absences in their careers due to medical concerns. Their successes cultivated deeper motivations to win exacting significant physical, mental, social, and emotional tolls. After stepping away, however, each returned to coaching posts to continue winning ways, but implemented mechanisms and understanding to keep themselves in check. Take-away: To operate in peak form like their respective teams, leaders, too, need to ensure self-maintenance.The interviewer asked the coaches about social medi…