Full Contact Leadership

Are You Ready For Some Football?


We are in the beginnings of football season. The college season started two weeks ago and the pro season started last week. But, teams have been practicing for quite a while.

I played football many years ago in high school. To be honest, I wasn’t that good at it. But I remember it well. And I was thinking about those experiences recently.

If you ever played football in an organized fashion you will remember that there were multiple kinds of practices. In the summer, there were “2-a-Days”. Those were a morning session of practice followed by lunch followed by another practice followed by complete exhaustion. There were “Walk-Throughs”. Those were usually conducted in very light athletic gear. That meant that we wore no pads and sometimes even wore no helmet since no one was going to get hit. They usually were more strategic and educational. The coach taught us new plays and showed us our blocking and routes.

Full Contact Leadership

And then there was “Full Contact” practice. This meant full football gear. You better have your chin strap on and snapped in place because we were going to bang together with great speed and with great enthusiasm. The coach did all he could to simulate playing conditions. You ran hard until you heard the whistle blow.

“2-a-Days” were for conditioning and getting ready for the upcoming season. They weren’t scrimmages and no one kept score. So, for purposes of my analogy, I will not say much more about those sessions. “Walk-Throughs” were not at full speed and no one got hurt. In many ways, we just went through the motions. We were learning new plays. And we were learning our rival’s plays so that we would be ready for Friday night. All of us hated “Walk-Throughs”. It was so hard to concentrate when we were just going through the motions and we weren’t banging into each other. We just didn’t take them very seriously.

No one really liked practice sessions of any kind. But if we were going to suit up and get all that gear on, then the least we could do was hit someone and knock them down! If we had to practice, we wanted it to be a full contact practice.

What does all of this have to do with leadership?

What if we treated leadership in the home as a “full contact” event? I am really speaking to those of you out there that are fathers. What if we treated it as though each and every day were the big game against our biggest rival? What if we lead our family with the same intensity? What if we did it with all of the energy that we could muster?

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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.