deal or no deal
August 15, 2007 9 Comments
Imagine you’re a quarterback for a professional football team.You have been on the same team for years and you have an impressive winning record. You have proven your commitment to the team through hard work, concerned effort, and teamwork. You take time to study the game and you apply your knowledge to each challenge; always learning, always growing. You respect your teammate’s opinions and feelings, so you work on including them in playmaking decisions and try to give everyone a chance to participate.
You find yourself in a huddle during a big game.
The strength and ability of your team is being challenged and you all join together, as usual, and formulate your next play. You assess your current situation, taking your players condition and talents in mind and you call a play. Your team cheers you on in agreement and you all throw your hands in the middle and start the cadence for the “unity cry”…
So you get into position, take the snap and roll LEFT, as planned, to execute the play. In mid stride you realize that your entire team has gone RIGHT. You try to make the best of it by lowing your head, leaving caution to the wind, and plowing forward as far as you can. You get stopped by 11 300 pound guys, all at once.
You get hurt.
You limp back to the huddle, scratching your head. You are confused as if you called the wrong play, or as if there was a misunderstanding. You know that your team is better than “that” so you go back to the huddle and call the same play. You ask the team if they understand and they nod. They look you in the eye and say yes. So you throw your hands in the middle and scream ignite the unity cry once more…
You line up, take the snap, and roll LEFT. Your team knew that you were disappointed when they went RIGHT so they step BACK. You trip up in the traffic and get re-introduced by those same 11 guys with a similar bone crunching collision. These 11 have gained momentum since the last time they pummeled you; and now you can see the adrenaline building as they get ready for the next play.
You got injured.
You go back to the huddle upset. You attempt to control yourself because of your respect for the team, but you are in pain. The crazy thing is that the only thing that is keeping you from buckling over into the fetal position and weeping yourself unconscious is your desire to keep the team going. You don’t want to risk them getting hurt or loose faith in themselves. You gather them all together, once again, and see if there is anything specific you are missing to gain understanding. You call time out, draw the play in the sand, have each player point to his position and explain the play in their own words. You ask them if they agree on the play and if they are happy with their level of involvement. You also ask them if they feel that it is the best play to run. They agree. Battle cry time…
You take the snap and roll LEFT. They all lay down on the ground allowing your 11 buddies to pile on you like you were piñata candy after an appropriately placed baseball bat strike at a middle school birthday party. You get twisted and turned so uncontrollably that you become unable to continue.
You are OUT OF THE GAME!
As you are getting strapped down to the stretcher, you are able to squeeze a few questions out of your punctured lung.
“I don’t understand what happened? I thought that we decided that we were going to execute the play, a certain way, as a team? I thought we understood each other? I thought you said that if I rolled RIGHT, that you would be with me. I thought we were on the same page?”
Unfortunately, the response you get is not as comforting as you would have expected. You see, the team decided that they didn’t agree with the plan you put in place and it was easier for them to not do it than to possibly offend you by actually saying to you that they didn’t agree. It was important to them, but not important enough to chance hurting your feelings.
After all, it’s only a game.
Now, unfortunately, it is a game that you will never look at the same again, as a quarterback. It is a game you will struggle to approach without fear that something unexpected will happen causing you re-injury. It is a game that requires confidence that your team stripped from you. It is a game, played by a team that will have to work harder than ever to get back on track because your trust was broken to save them from having an uncomfortable conversation.
Here is what I think.
As a family member, parent, friend, boss, or co-worker, you are obligated to have difficult conversations with the ones you love. You don’t roll in different directions or lay down. You don’t say things you don’t mean. You tell the truth, regardless of circumstance, understanding that the damage that you could inflict can be immeasurably worse that your simple discomfort at that moment.
That is if you care about others more than yourself.
As a wife or a husband, this should be understood the second you say “I DO”, and never put on the sidelines. I understand that it is easier said than done, but do yourself a favor…You can sit your a** on the bench or stay in the locker room for all I care; but for heavens sake, stay out of the huddle; and don’t you dare join in the Battle Cry unless you are truly committed to the play called. Add your input, remember your roll, and give support by performing your duty to the best of your abilities. Support your quarterback with truth. If not, someone will always wind up hurt,
…and that is no way to win the BIG game.