Which One Are You On?
Personally, I would argue that I've played mostly offense my entire life. I like to get after it… in a big way. I believe in what’s happening. I'm trying to find new plays. I'm trying to find new personnel. I'm trying to go down the motherfucking field, and I'm trying to score 70.
What are you playing if you're not on offense? Are you playing zone? Are you playing prevent defense? Last time I checked, prevent defense doesn’t fucking work. Playing defense means you’re playing not to lose. It also means that you’re not playing to win.
Go On the Offensive
Think about your situation. Corporate environment, entrepreneurship, in school, etc. Whatever it is, you must play offense all the time. You have to be constantly trying new things, tweaking the plays, and adjusting your strategy. Why? Because that’s how you get the meeting, that’s how you get the internship you want, and that’s how you separate yourself in your new job. It’s all strategy. It’s all offense. On the other hand, if you're playing defense, you’re chilling. And guess what? Chilling ain’t going to get you anywhere.
Strive to bring new ideas to the table. Push yourself to get a little bit better each day. Gain the reputation of the person that’s always stepping up, even if it’s a little different than everyone else.
What Happens Next?
People start to look to you for the answers. People start to look to you for new ideas. People start to rely on you more. People start to trust you more. You star continues to rise because you’re playing offense.
You become the offensive coordinator. What happens to an offensive coordinator that’s ballin’ out? They become the head coach. Then, they become the GM. And then if you’re an ultra baller, you start owning shit.
I wasn't going for the first down; I was always going for the score. One hundred percent. Does it work every single time? Of course not. Some days you’re pushing the envelope and you’re going for it on fourth down, and other days you aren’t.
Are You On Defense?
Are you? If you’re exclusively playing defense, check yourself now. It’s important to be honest with yourself here. If you’re just fielding stuff constantly, you’re not strategizing. You’re just fielding. No value is being added. You’re just existing in the same spot. You’re in the hamster wheel.
Address Your Situation
Start with addressing your particular situation. If there’s not enough offense in your strategy, where can you find more? Personnel, ideas, etc. On the other hand, maybe you don’t play enough defense to hedge your bet. Maybe you need to look more into that side of the equation.
But the reality is that most people are playing mostly defense and not enough offense. Going on offense can be as simple as over delivering just a little bit with your supervisor. If you consistently over deliver, then you begin to build this narrative of how you operate. Who do you think they’re going to pick when that next job comes available?
Be mindful of the game you’re playing. For me, I’m pushing forward with multiple initiatives in a strategic, methodical way to get to the goal line. I’m trying to maintain a heavy red zone percentage because I’m trying to get in the end zone as much as possible.
Think about someone like Tom Brady. He has seven Super Bowl wins, and three Super Bowl losses. You aren’t going to win them all, but he’s still winning the majority of the time. He's always on the offensive. He's always trying to work on his personnel. He's meeting guys in the off season, he's working on his body, and he’s continuously learning. He’s doing what it takes to be the greatest of all-time.
Offense or defense? Do you need to play one more than the other? Which one are you playing right now? Are you neglecting one completely? Dig in, take inventory, and get to work.