As millions of football fans are occupied with the UEFA EURO 2016 and Copa América, to me, these events are also a great reminder of how football captures the essence of unique personalities coming together to work towards a common goal.
Individuals need to collaborate in order to get results as a team, both on and off the field. What’s highlighted in the office, especially, is the importance of respecting others and giving them space to work in their creative zones.
Chaos is good
On the football field, some players defy rules, break down order, and cause chaos . While I don’t encourage anyone to wreak havoc at work, we all know the colleague whose desk is a mess, who storms in and out of meetings, leaving others wondering what just happened. But they always end up having incredible ideas. Just like game changers, they draw energy from chaos.
When I look back on my time in a previous job, my closest colleague had what I can only call a chaotic approach to problem solving. Along the way, we developed a great rhythm in feeding off of each other’s energy. Admittedly, a touch of telepathy might have been involved.
Even though your teammate’s approach might seem like pure chaos, it’s good to remember that there’s always order in apparent randomness. This is why we’re so fascinated with the creative process and dissecting it into phases.
The chaotic folk know exactly what they’re doing – just like in football – so it’s essential to give them the space they need to create. And it goes both ways.
Get your control freak on
Other players are born to control and set the pace of the game . In business, these are the cool-headed creators who bring order among chaos. Their approach is – or appears to be – more systematic. They’re the playmakers.
I’m the first to admit that I require plenty of thinking time to first thoroughly understand the problem, and second, to organize my thoughts and let them brew before tackling a creative task. I also need my desk to be in order for my mind to be in order.
Controlled creativity doesn’t necessarily rule out teamwork or different viewpoints. Quite the contrary: both are vital raw material for creative work in any zone.
Agility is a necessity
Despite seemingly contradictory personalities, everyone in a football team follows a strategy and reacts to other players’ moves. In the office, we are complex creatures with multi-faceted personalities, but in the end, opposites attract and the results can be great.
Whatever your zone, chaos and control coexist everywhere, all the time. We all need to conjure cohesion from chaos at times, which is why agility comes in handy. Sure, we can’t all be like Lionel Messi with his unparalleled speed and agility, but those traits might arise in the most surprising of situations. Sometimes you just have to wing it.