Know your role! Having played on many sports teams over the years, at all levels, one thing that I have learned is the
importance of knowing your role. The great business mind and bestselling author
Jim Collins has a great quote about this very topic – “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” How important is that quote to any high performing sports team? Everyone wants to be the star, and that is not inherently a bad thing…as a coach I want players who all have the desire to be the best. But we all know that everyone cannot be ‘the star’ and in order for a team to be successful there needs to be a clear understanding by EVERY member of that team on what their specific role is. When I say EVERY member, I mean EVERY player. In basketball, in order for a team to perform at full capacity the athletic trainer, team manager, 12
th player on the bench and high scorer all need to understand what is expected of them and work towards executing it, every day. I know, I know…it sounds cliché and obvious, but the vast majority of the time what seems so obvious is overlooked. I am a firm believer of the notion of “knowing your role” as I have lived it and currently try to live it in all aspects of my life. I think that KNOWING YOUR ROLE is one of the many
keys to success. If you know what your role is on any team, organization or in a relationship it should be clear what is expected of you. If you know what is expected of you, it should be clear to you what you need to be doing to achieve and exceed those expectations and be successful in all aspects of your life. My college basketball experience is a great example of this. In my head (the head can be a very scary place!) I should have played more, scored more, etc…but in reality, my role was to lead, be the hardest working guy on the team, and eat up 15-20 minutes a game as a defensive specialist and provide a ‘spark’ off the bench. Did I want my role to expand? Absolutely. I worked hard every day for that to happen. But the truth was I couldn’t handle the expanded role I wanted, though I strived for it. I did however accept and master the role that was given to me by my coach and I drove tremendous value in that role. I gauge my success not off what others did before me, but by what was expected of me in my role. And defining success that way, I had a great college basketball career! I close with a brief thought about one of the greatest “know your role” players in the history of sports.
Robert Horry won seven…yes SEVEN NBA championships…over his career. He earned the name “Big Shot Rob” which is further proof of why he is one of the great “know your role” players ever. Robert Horry never put up anywhere near All-star numbers, but he knew that he added tremendous value to any team he played for by adding a scoring threat and the ability to hit big shots in key scenarios. And he was a HUGE part of each of those 7 NBA Championship teams.
Challenge: Know your role. Know what is expected of you. Work to surpass those expectations! Written By: Eric Blumenthal