The Offense / Defense Lens

I once asked Reshan if he preferred offense or defense. The question was random, a bit of a joke even, and I half expected him not to answer. But he said, with absolute certainty, “defense.”

While having a conversation with a parent of a player on my son’s soccer team, I was reminded of Reshan’s answer . . . and perhaps the reason for his certainty.

“On defense, you want to close space, shrink the field,” the parent said. “On offense, you want to open up space, open up the field.” He was telling me this as part of an analogy he was making about a team he was leading, or trying to lead, at his job.

And now I’m thinking ahead to the coming week, when I’ll be facilitating — I just counted — 9 hours of planned meetings. Heading into a planned meeting, I always try to think clearly and deliberately about agendas. To build them, I focus on the tasks we need to complete and any group maintenance that needs attention. And this week, I’m going to add an offense / defense lens to my planning. More specifically, I’m going to think about whether or not I need to consolidate space or open it up. Do we need to be really close and really aligned, perhaps to hold a lead, or do we need to spread out and run to space, perhaps to put some points on the board?

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