The Blind Side: Who’s got you covered?

I recently started to contribute for one and only WebHost Industy Review on the subject of Customer Care. I’m super excited to have that opportunity.

You may be familiar with Michael Lewis, author of Money Ball, a look inside the world of major league baseball. Since then Lewis turned his attention to football, with the release of his book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.” I didn’t read the book yet, but watched the movie and really enjoyed it.

Lewis tells the story of Michael Oher who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee. He’s uneducated, shy and raised by a drug-addicted mother. He has quite a physical presence: 6’5ft tall and 350 pounds, but never played football. Thanks to certain improbable circumstances Michael ended up attending an exclusive Christian School, and a wealthy family took him in, to tutor, nurture and make him one of their own. They also got Michel to play football – he was now destined for greatness and riches in the NFL.

Michael’s position was left offensive tackle, which protects the blind side of a right-handed quarterback.  “I’ve got you covered.” That’s what a left-tackle is supposed to do. Give the quarterback the time to get the throw off to his receivers. It’s all about protection…

In one of the interviews, Lewis said, “It became very clear to me that if Michael hadn’t crossed out of poor, Memphis and made his way into rich, Memphis, he never would have been discovered. If he hadn’t been protected by this affluent and savvy family, his career probably would’ve been over before it really started.” That family was distended to appear in Michal’s life to protect him, to have his blind side covered. Michel then went ahead to help others on and off the football filed.

Who’s got you covered? And who are you covering? I truly believe we (people) all need each other. You need someone else protecting your blind side – and someone else needs your encouragement and protection also.

For a leader of an organization it carries so much more power and meaning. You are in the position to change lives. It’s a huge responsibility, but can have tremendous rewords. Perhaps that’s what leadership is all about – holding a position of an offensive tackle, protecting the blind side of the team you are responsible for and with that letting them do the same for your clients.  Some of the principles I follow while working with my teams are:

1)  Be there – make sure your team knows you are there for them every step of the way

2)  Be able to ask tough questions and make tough decisions  – it’s not about being a “nice guy”, but being fair

3)  Stay inspired – if the leader is burnt out, the team shall follow the same footsteps. You need to do everything you can to keep the fire burning, and if you are unable – remove yourself and let someone else to step up.

Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.”  -Lao Tzu