What a beautiful time of year.
No, I’m not talking about starting fresh with the new calendar year nor am I talking about the long-overdue wintry crisp in the air. I’m talking about, yes, you guessed it, the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
It’s a time when, according to Nielsen data, 30+ million people tune in to watch two elite teams full of determined, self-motivated “A-Level Players” battle it out for the chance to hoist up that gold-plated hardware.
Being the avid college football fan that I am, it’s only natural to draw a correlation between “A-Level Players” that grind it out on the football field and “A-Level Players” that grind it out in the fast-paced world of software product development.
This concept of “A-Level Players” at Oven Bits is explained as:
Great people want to work with great people. A group-led culture of personal growth and ownership fuels our collaborative ambition. We’re lifelong-learners seeking continual improvement.
Product development, like football, is not an individual sport. It’s a team effort. (Thank you, Captain Obvious). We hold one another accountable. However, it’s everyone’s responsibility to micro-manage themselves while maintaining a macro-perspective. Consistent small wins lead to achieving the larger goal.
In both trade and sport, you need inner-motivation to drive you. You need a non-stop commitment to learning. You need to relentlessly invest time, effort, and sweat to sharpen your skills. It’s not just about talent and skill, but about leaving the ego at the door and having the ability to consistently optimize and self improve.
“A-Level Players,” particularly in this up-tempo, no-huddle-offense industry we work in, needs to be low-maintenance. It’s a figure-it-out world, and, luckily, we’re surrounded by smart people that love to share knowledge. Along these same lines, “A-Level Players” need to be coachable. You need to pick up on things quickly and apply it to the next task or project at-hand. And, finally, “A-Level Players” have to study the film. Evaluate yourself and the competition. Learning from your own mistakes is great, but learning from others’ mistakes is even better.
In conclusion, we all must do our part in order to win, but more importantly, we all must understand how “winning” is defined.
We all have to lead our own individual charge to bring out the best for the team. It also helps that when you surround yourself with “A-Level Players,” it makes playing the game a little bit easier and a lot more enjoyable.
Here’s to a great year with a lot of wins. Cheers.