Author: Wale Akinyemi
 The Deception of Activity

The Deception of Activity

In football, having ball possession means nothing if not converted into goals. The power is not in possession but in conversion. Possession without conversion is merely activity without productivity. This is where a lot of people are today.

The value of a team is not determined by how much possession of the ball they have. The value is determined by how many goals they can score. Similarly a person’s value is not determined by how busy they are but how much their being busy is translated into positive results.

Some spend hours on end having meetings. What is your meeting-results ratio? Do a summary of the meeting hours that you have exhausted each month and compare it with the results of that month. This applies not only to meetings. Do regular activity-results comparisons where you match activity with the results delivered and this way you can see where there is possession without goals.  You will discover the activities that take so much time and energy and yet deliver very little.

Another sport that I like very much apart from the beautiful game of football is boxing. Again, it is not in how many times that the boxers swing their fists but rather in how many of the swings connect with the face of the opponent. And, no matter how many swings connect with the opponents’ face which translates into actual points, all the points are nullified by a knockout. In essence you may have landed more punches on the face of the opponent but if the opponent lands one solid uppercut that sends you to the ground so much so that you cannot continue the fight, then all your points are in vain.

Winning is the name of the game. No one remembers which team had possession or which boxer had points. People remember who won. You are not in the game to have possession. You are in the game to win. Value is not measured by how busy you appear to be or by how busy you are. It is measured by results.

Last week I wrote that every organization has two kinds of people – the value adders and the parasites and that the parasites do not add value but live off the value added by others and the parasites are always the first to complain about what is not working. Now the irony is this. The parasites may be the ones that appear to be very busy and that is why many times parasites are the ones that are able to negatively influence and corrupt the team. They win sympathy by their appearance of commitment. It is important that we identify parasites early and that they are not given airtime in the hearts of other team members.

Remember that the fact that someone is in front of a computer typing on the keys does not mean that they are engaged in productive activity. Similarly the fact that someone is always on the field going from one meeting to another does not mean that they are productive. The fact that someone is on the phone talking to clients does not mean that they are productive. Telling is not selling.

Many times we get sad because we feel that the better team did not win. Remember that in the final analysis what constitutes the better team is not who had more possession or shots at goal but who scored goals. Teams don’t qualify for the next round by playing better. They qualify by winning. To qualify to move to the next round of your life, you must win this round.

In life, the right to be remembered does not come with existence. It comes with achievement.

wale@powertalks.biz   twitter@waleakinyemi​


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The Deception of Activity

In football, having ball possession means nothing if not converted into goals. The power is not in possession but in conversion. Possession without conversion is merely activity without productivity. This is where a lot of people are today. The value of a team is not determined by how much possession of the ball they have. […]