Do you play “with your head up”?

Can I share a wow moment?

As a student I did some voluntary work in South India – a marvellous and privileged opportunity in itself. I then did a grand tour of the sub-continent and visited the city of Agra in the north. I got up early in readiness to see the sights and headed off on a cycle rickshaw. Not far from my destination I asked the rickshaw wallah if I could pedal. He jumped in my seat at the back and I took his driver’s seat and pedalled as hard as I could. His rickshaw colleagues, who were all sitting on a wall waiting for their next job, could not believe their eyes! I was mightily relieved when he said that he should take over. I thought I was fit – I was smiling, but it was beginning to kill me!

When we arrived at my destination I hopped out, paid my rupees and headed off, walking through the early morning crowds. My recollection was of hustle and bustle and everything crowding in as I was looking where I was going, with my head slightly down as I entered through some gates. Then I looked up and I was confronted with the most amazing vista – the Taj Mahal.

It was breath-taking. Beautifully crafted, symmetrical white marble against the azure sky. I had never been so captivated by a building. The impact of the change from “head down” to “head up” was remarkable.

In my day I was pretty good at football (soccer to our American friends, but football to the rest of the planet!). I was a  Ronaldostriker – scoring goals was the name of the game. I had good speed and ball control and knew where the back of the net was. My tendency was to keep my eye on the ball, which was no bad thing, but I probably didn’t lift up my head enough to look around and therefore may have missed opportunities. The very top players play with their “head up”.

To see the big picture you have to get your head up. This is not easy but if you understand the benefits that may help. You are likely to be a far better player, you will see some great opportunities, score some goals and the rest of the team will be thanking you!

John Greenway

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book – “Leaders’ Map”. It would be great to get your feedback, so please do share your comments here or on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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