Steven Covey – If Your Company Was A Soccer Team

Steven Covey – If Your Company Was A Soccer Team

Steven Covey – Harris Poll

Steven Covey in his book The 8th Habit, which I highly recommend, quoted the results of a Harris Poll of 23,000 U.S. residents employed full time within key industries and in key functional areas as follows:

  • Only 37 percent of those polled, said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why.
  • Only 1 in 5 was enthusiastic about their team’s and organization’s goals.
  • Only 1 in 5 workers said they have a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s and organizational goals.
  • Only half were satisfied with the work they have accomplished at the end of the week.
  • Only 15 percent felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals.
  • Only 15 percent felt they worked in a high-trust environment.
  • Only 17 percent felt their organization fosters open communication and better ideas
  • Only 10 percent felt that their organization holds people accountable for results.
  • Only 20 percent fully trusted the organization they work for.
  • Only 13 percent have high-trust, highly cooperative working relationships with other groups or departments.

Steven Covey – Soccer Team Analogy

Covey goes on to equate these results to a soccer team by describing the team as having only four of the eleven players on the field knowing which goal was theirs. Only two of the eleven would care. Only two of the eleven would know what position they play and know exactly what they are suppose to do. And all but two players would, in some way, be competing against their own team rather than the opponent.

The analogy is an interesting one and to some degree tracks against my own experience. You can say it is far-fetched but think about it. If you do not know what the real mission of the organization is, then how do you know what game you are playing, not to mention which way down the field will help you score? If your company’s employees are operating in silos then how are they not competing against each other? If you are not all pulling the same direction then how can you help it but not care?

Steven Covey – Conclusion

It is easy to put your head in the sand and say this is not true in my organization. I challenge every business owner and manager to evaluate their team. Do you have a fully engaged workforce that is productive? Do your employees really know why they are at work each day? Do they have the skills and resources to accomplish what is expected of them? To use an old analogy, if you stopped and asked one of your employees what they were doing, would they say they are pilling bricks one on top of the other? Would they say they are building a wall? Or would they say they are building a cathedral? If your goal is to build the cathedral then you want to make sure your employees know just what the cathedral is to look like.

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