In Basketball and Business, “Do Your Job”

I’m watching the NBA playoffs. There’s a game every night and it’s winding down to the finals.

I heard Erik Spoelstra, the coach of the Miami Heat, implore his team: “Do your job.”

In basketball, that means a number of things. Cover your man. Rebound. Take good shots when you’re open. Execute the game plan.

In professional basketball, coaches can use the short hand, saying “do your job,” because they spend hours studying film, crafting strategy, relating it to the players. The players, being professional, have the ability to understand and to execute.

If you are in a leadership role, it’s good to ask yourself if you can say to your team “do your job” and be confident that they can execute that charge without question.

Have you put in the time to define the roles for each one?

Have you taken the time to watch the team perform and assured yourself that they “know” the role?

If the teaching, leading and coaching is done right, the responsibility shifts. Now it’s on the player. Try hard. Be accountable. Be the best you can be.

In a game like basketball everyone can work to do their “jobs” on both teams, but there are still winners and losers.

While we compete with other businesses, our standard for whether we’re doing our job doesn’t give us a win or loss every day.

“Doing our job” is more a test of character. We know whether we fulfilled the variety of tasks we’ve been assigned. We know whether we tried as hard as we could. We know whether we did the best we could. Or not.

Here’s what I know: the more we have people who know their jobs well and execute them with a high degree of accountability, the longer we get to operate. My sense is we have a lot of folks on our team who understand that truth.

I am grateful for you.