'A' GAME OR 'O' GAME?

9 November 2018

Success in sport is all about playing your ‘A’ game. Being the best you can be through the preparation and training, into the game itself and even afterwards (modesty and humility in success and graciousness in defeat). If everyone on the team plays their ‘A’ game the results are impressive.

So how do we transfer this ‘A’ game analogy into the workplace? Let’s imagine we are likening your business operations to the game of cricket. If you play your ‘A’ game you’ll most likely win; if you play an ‘O’ game you’ll be ‘Out’ pretty quickly.


The ‘A’ game has 3 important components:

Appraise – work out who is best to have on your team, find out what their strengths are and, most importantly, what they’re wanting to achieve.

Allow – empower your team to deliver on your plan. Just as the coach of a game of cricket stays out of the game, allow your team to demonstrate why they are on your team.

Acknowledge – reinforce the great work they’re doing with support and encouragement – celebrate their successes to help build confidence.

On the flip side the ‘O’ game has these 3 components:

Obstruct – stand in the way by seeking to control the business or allowing your structure to bottleneck at you.

Object – block growth of your team in the belief that they will never do the job as well as you do.

Obliviousness – carry on with the way you are working blissfully unaware of the impact your approach is having on the team.

The key here is to take an honest look in the mirror and eliminate all of your ‘O’ game actions. If you don’t think you have any, ask your team what they think! The ‘A’ game simply doesn’t happen if there is any ‘O’ game behaviour.

"If you've had a good time playing the game you're a winner even if you lose." - Malcolm Forbes

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