Leadership Lesson: It is Halftime, What Adjustments Will You Make?

  • Published: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

Most coaches have a pre-game plan. For example, Coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs has his first 15 players of the game planned out before the kickoff.

Then as the game unfolds there are always surprises. Then comes the mid-point of the game.

Halftime is where the real genius of coaches shows up.

"The halftime adjustments separate good coaches from the great coaches," said David Burton, county engagement specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

Consider the Atlanta versus New England Super Bowl a few years ago. Down 28-3 at halftime coach Bill Belichick made extraordinary halftime adjustments and ended up winning the game!

"Most of us find ourselves in a similar situation. We had a game plan for 2020 that was rolling along. Things were going well, and then COVID19 slapped us around for several months, and now we find ourselves at a point where we need to make some adjustments," said Burton. 

According to Burton, leaders need to consider making four different halftime adjustments at this point in 2020.

Adjustment 1: quit hoping for easy and quick solutions. 

Burton says a leader cannot just stick his or her head in the sand and ignore what is happening. The number one motivator for most people is avoiding discomfort. Leaders cannot afford to let that be their motivation.

"Getting rid of the avoidance hang-ups will help us think more clearly when you know things will not return to normal," said Burton. "This crisis is not easily or quickly over."

Adjustment 2: we have to lean into change, not run from it. 

Successful leaders realize that if everything around them changes, they need to change, and they need to change fast.

"Leaders must be agile in their decision making and willing to pivot or adjust. Adaption and innovation are crucial to quality halftime adjustments," said Burton.

Adjustment 3: we need to embrace unchanging values in an unpredictable world.

"Transformation is possible for anyone willing to learn and live good values, value every person, and collaborate with others to create a culture of positive change," said Burton.

Values that Burton says should be emphasizes are: Attitude, Courage, Kindness, Teamwork, Self-regulation, Commitment, Integrity, Perseverance, Responsibility, Humility, and Hope.

Adjustment 4: leaders must develop emotional strength. 

During a crisis, emotions can create a “tail wagging the dog” type of situation. Emotionally strong leaders do not waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They embrace change as a challenge.

"Leaders need to be led by their values or their principles, not by their emotions," said Burton.

THE BIG QUESTION

What halftime changes are you prepared to make today?
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Writer: David Burton

Media Contact

David Burton
417/881-8909

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