X’s & O’s

I had a cool conversation one time with a guy who was interviewing for a full time position coaching a hockey team in the OHL. The Ontario hockey league supplies roughly 70% of the players who go on to the NHL (National Hockey League.)

This is what he said to me that resonated and stuck with me over the years. He said “A good coach isn’t good because he can explain the plays, and draw the X’s and O’s on the chalk board. He is a good coach because he reminds the players why they love the game.”

Think about that, and cast yourself in the role of the coach.

Most of us work at something that involves some degree of technical knowledge. For instance, how much weight a bearing wall can support, or how to put together a lesson plan, or a financial plan or (thinking specifically of my partner and friend Tom Frisby) how to analyze a whole lot of data and assess the health of an enterprise.

Anyone who is capable of doing any of the tasks listed above is capable of making a living.

There will always be architects and contractors, as well as teachers and financial advisors and business consultants and assorted number crunchers and analyzers that the rest of us need. There will always be line cooks and shoe store salesmen and window washers and tailors and prosthetic limb designers.

Each of these people will tell you that there are tricks of the trade. Things you learn which are passed on from one lamp lighter to the next. What makes someone great isn’t the technical knowledge; it’s their basic understanding of why their work is important.

And why is your work important? Same reason mine is. I do my work to remind people that they love the game, whatever their game is.

Thanks for reading.

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