Lance Allred reads basketball better than most. Sportspeople, develop an ability to determine, in the probabilities of where everything is going to be at any given time. In team sports, great ones can factor in the personalities on the field, adjusting for luck, weather and many other vagaries at play and predict what will happen next.
Learning to read the game is one difference between little kid football when you can always tell exactly where the ball is because of the knot of players and the beautiful game.
Its the difference between fluid passing that lets a winger run to a place that the ball will be, in three, two one…Lance Allred, in his first basketball games, would incur the referee's anger because they thought he was ignoring them. He can’t hear the whistle. Allred was the first legally deaf NBA player.
Lots of advice talks about pivoting, go online, post this much...on this day. change your offerings, do things differently, new things…same things in different ways. We've been talking about disruptive technologies, right now most things are in a state of disruption. Our ability to predict what's next is compromised. The regular flow of what happens next is so out of normal rhythm. There’s a lot of noise. Many people and circumstances in play.
What’s the game? Why are you playing?
Do you really need to pivot or should you drive down the line?
Maybe what you need is a time out. Maybe just shoot the ball.
Reading the game, picking the next few moves and having the flexibility to change them if the game changes again is a skill - a set of skills actually. It takes time and practice. It also takes knowing why you're in the game.
What is your business? What product or service do you actually provide? For Whom?
Simon Sinek would ask "What's your why?" Has that changed? Is there a way you could offer the service or product in a new way? Is there something that your customers need that you are skilled in?
Sometimes you’re going to make a wrong move. Learning to read the game needs court time and effective, focused practice.
Practice right now might feel like training in live-fire exercises…getting it wrong has consequences. For many of us, our businesses are at stake.
We have suppliers and employees and families depending on us.
On the other hand, we have better odds of succeeding in business than a deaf Mormon kid had of playing professional basketball. A calculated risk - a long shot is still an opportunity. Pivot, drive, pass, shoot…we get to pick.