I went to a primary school soccer match, and saw the future athletes of Australia. On this particular day it was overcast and a little rainy, but all the eight year olds had a much sunnier disposition than the parents, and the match started and ended on an enthusiastic note for all the keen players.
What cracked me up about the match was that it was like watching a swarm of bees. The ball went to the corner of the pitch and about twenty kids all ran after it at once while the respective goalies chirped cries of encouragement. The ball then got booted into the middle of the pitch and the whole swarm made a bee line to that vicinity and went at it like a rugby scrum where only feet were allowed. The whole match continued in this very fashion.
I thought to myself. These kids need job descriptions. These kids need to know what their role is, how they fit into the overall team goals. They need to know the objective of their positions etc. etc. I thought to myself, they are all doing a wonderful job and absolutely the best they can for their teams, but this is total chaos.
The good natured primary school coach, who had a great pedigree as a former English player, also knew they needed job descriptions, or more to the point, these eight year olds needed to know the purpose of their respective positions. But what can you do when it comes to coaching most eight year olds? He did his best and smiled alongside me.
When they reach eighteen to eighty though, that is a different story. For the most part when we are older we are more capable of understanding certain things when we play for a team, or if we work for a company. We generally understand we have a role to play. The majority of people want to know what their role is, and they want to know how they can contribute because that gives them the satisfaction to be motivated to do their part.
If you are a leader thinking , “Why should I bother sorting out job descriptions?”, ask yourself this, ”Do I want my employees running around like a bunch of eight year old soccer players?”