Do You Have To Join The Navy To Play Football Metaphors Gone Wild: Quarterbacks and Decisions

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Metaphors Gone Wild: Quarterbacks and Decisions

“If you’re the quarterback,” says Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, “you want everything on your shoulders. You want to be the one making the decisions.” Quarterbacks or general decision makers, we’ve all felt the burden of decision making. Metaphorical football only reaches touchdown position with the right people, the right situation, and the right decision.

Emotions can get in the way of clear thinking about some decisions. Consider what Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay says about emotions: “Emotions are overrated in football. My wife Corky is emotional as hell but can’t play football.

A more analytical approach–but one that doesn’t rely too heavily on numbers–can serve you well whether you’re making decisions alone or in a team.

McKinsey’s Seven “S” Approach

We should not rely on data alone to make important decisions. McKinsey & Company urges us to move beyond relying solely on quantitative information. The globally recognized management consulting firm emphasizes the value of examining style, skills, systems, structure, personnel, strategy and shared value.

Other experts recommend identifying long-term problems facing the organization. This critical first step has far-reaching implications. Recognition can mean strategic-review meetings that include frank conversations with the ultimate decision-makers.

Clearly, there are many methods for arriving at sound decisions. Although identification is essential–many experts believe that it is better to have the wrong answer to a well-defined problem than to have the right answer to an ill-defined problem.

How good is your gut?

Many decision makers pride themselves on being “Golden Gate” – that is, they make decisions based on their intuition. If you know your intuition is more than 90% accurate then there is nothing wrong with doing so.

The best decision makers can avoid “certainties” that often prove to be false. They lend credence to predictions that 50% of the predictions we make are wrong. This is an easy way to check the accuracy of your intuition. Answer “True” or “False” to each statement on the next page, using only your “gut reaction” to guide you.

1) Tiger is the second largest species of cat family.

2) Tigers can reach 9 feet in length and 400 pounds in weight.

3) Several subspecies include Malayan tiger, Siberian tiger, Bengal tiger, South China tiger, Sumatran tiger and Indochinese tiger.

4) Tiger is no longer endangered due to human efforts.

5) Majority (about 80%) of tiger cubs survive to become fully grown tigers.

6) When tigers come together, the group is known as a Tiger Praise.

7) Tigers fear water.

8) White tigers are symbols of writers imagination.

9) Tigers have the most successful hunts when they run together during the day.

10) Today most of the world’s tigers are in the wild.

Give your team a quiz. Their responses will help you make decisions as a group. If there are truly intuitive individuals on the team–someone with a perfect score–consider their “gut reactions” seriously. If the team has very diverse responses, the lack of consensus suggests that a more integrated approach may be needed. Instead of a group vote on the best decision, more structured decision-making methods are available for teams.

Here are the answers to Tiger Quiz:

#1 Lie (Tiger is the biggest cat.)

#2 Lie (It can grow 11 feet and weigh 660 pounds.)

#3 True

#4 False (It is endangered due to hunting and destruction of its habitat.)

#5 Lie (Half the cubs don’t live more than two years.)

#6 Lies (These are known as “tiger ambushes.”)

#7 Lie (They are really good swimmers.)

#8 False (They exist – one in every 10,000 genes will produce a white tiger.)

#9 Lies (They are most successful at night, when they hunt individually.)

#10 Lies (Mostly kept as pets and in zoos.)

Want to be a tiger for a day?

An African proverb that asserts “I’d rather be a tiger for one day than a lamb for a hundred days” suggests an aggressive approach to decision-making, not sloppily or flippantly. When you–alone or together–must make important decisions, consider the seven “s” words.

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