Sunday, September 21, 2008

On The Tunney Side of the Street #195, Sept. 22, 2008 (

On the Tunney Side of the Street #195, September 22, 2008

After Further Review … Stephen Covey, author of “Seven Habits of Effective People,” and “The 8th Habit: from Effectiveness to Greatness,” teaches three guidelines for effective collaboration – read: TEAMWORK.

They are: 1) Establish your mission; 2) Set the ground rules; and 3) Identify each member’s strengths. Nothing new here. However, it recalled for me how the NFL officiating crew of seven, of which I was the “crew chief,” strived to be more effective (read: Perfect) on the field every game. See how these apply to you and how you can utilize them each day.

1) Establish your mission. My book “Impartial Judgment” could have been titled “’Cause I Don’t Care Who Wins.” The mission of each NFL crew is to officiate all 60 minutes of every game without prejudice and mistake-free! Does this put extra pressure on each member of the crew? Not necessarily. Pressure keeps one focused and can be managed when every one is prepared – mentally and physically. The questions are: a) did each one do his homework thoroughly by studying the Rule Book? And b) did everyone physically workout each day to be in game conditioning?

2) Set the ground rules. Each week, before the next game, every official – by himself, as well as with his crew, studies the game film of their previous week’s game looking for ways to improve. Each crew member must be honest to admit a blown call, a missed play, and that he was in the right position to make the call (called mechanics). Only when officials learn from their mistakes will improvement take place. These ground rules help the crew seek perfection. Another important ground rule is to be professional on the field, friendly and courteous, but not “buddy, buddy” with players or coaches.

3) Identify each member’s strengths. It is vital that each official is placed in an on-field position e.g. R, U, HL, LJ, SJ, FJ or BJ, which utilizes his physical and mental strengths to the utmost. While the major responsibility of enforcing the penalty for a foul, for example, is placed on the referee (white hat), it is essential for the effectiveness of the crew, and of course, for the game itself that every official learn, know and ensure that every penalty is properly enforced. And finally, while the strength of a crew depends on the strength of the individual, it is the willingness of each to help another T.E.A.M. member. Teamwork – call it chemistry – is crucial to the success of the game.

Will you practice these suggestions to help your T.E.A.M. move from effectiveness to greatness?

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