Saturday, March 2, 2013

The President, Congress, and Concussions

The sequester impasse reminded me of the source of concussions for many football linemen; ramming heads against each other. Recent reports show the repetitious butting of a player's head against an opponent causes more long term brain damage than an occasional big hit.

So, it's a wonder whether the constant battling and bickering over budgets between the president and congress, like the constant ramming of a player's head against his opponent, will cause long term damage to the country?

In football, two teams agree to square off to score the most points. It's a brutal sport, but the contact and physicality make it special to participants and fans. The team executing the best often wins.

We expect our leaders to execute like one team, so the country wins. We don't expect them to beat on each other like football players. Congress and the president are not, as in football, acknowledged adversaries. They are expected to function more like a team to generate the greatest good.

Therein may lie the problem. In football, the goal is very clear; to score the most points. In politics, different agendas and constituents make goal clarity more difficult.

What, can our leaders agree, is the nation's most important goal?
Is it maintaining freedom?
Is it offering people the right to happiness?
Is it adhering to the constitution and to the declaration of independence?

I help work teams and executive teams improve performance with a basic template.
Fist, everyone must agree they want to be on the team.
Next, we define the goal.
Then, we define the roles and responsibilities needed to carry out the goal.
Next, the processes and procedures needed to administer roles and the team are defined.
Then we work on relationships; collaboration, communication, respect, and trust.
Finally, we define methods to demonstrate commitment to the goal, to each other, and to development and growth.

I'm guessing our leaders could use a little team building right now.
Does anyone have a phone number I can call?