If your ODA facilitators don’t seem as upbeat as usual this week, it’s because our favorite teams suffered some devastating losses in the recent NFL playoffs (colts and packers). The defeats are particularly difficult this year, as a playoff win would have brought a favored team to our Phoenix home for the Superbowl.
There was a particular moment in the Packers-Seahawks NFC Championship game that contained a valuable lesson for any team.
With five minutes left in the game, the Packers had the ball and a 19-7 lead on the Seattle Seahawks. What quickly became an epic collapse included a season-defining fumble.
In preparation for an outside kick, backup tight end Brandon Bostick was lined up on the left side next to Jordy Nelson, one of the best wide receivers in the league. Bostick’s job was to block the second man down. Nelson’s job is to get the ball.
“We’ve got certain guys to make these plays back there,” said cornerback Tramon Williams. “And certain guys to block.”
Instead of doing his job, Bostick jumped for the ball, which then bounced off his helmet causing a fumble.
“It wasn’t my job at all,” said Bostick, “I was supposed to block. I just ran to the ball. I felt like I had my hands on the ball. I just got hit and then I didn’t have the ball. I thought I could get it. Obviously, I couldn’t.
Bostick went onto the field as a team member. Each member was assigned a specific role and given specific instructions by their leader. Bostick took a risk in playing a role he wasn’t assigned to play and his risk backfired, to the detriment of the entire team.
Does that mean that team members should never take risks or challenge themselves? Of course not. Bostick’s mistake may have started a series of events that lead to the loss, but he was not solely responsible for the loss.
Teams are compiled of individuals, and those individuals are going to make mistakes. While those mistakes may lead to failure, other risks may lead to success. The team wins together and loses together. Ultimately, it’s up to the team to respond to mistakes in a healthy way. Use the opportunity for education and further mentoring. Support the team mate. Rise on the other side, use it to get better.
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