the pressure to improve

it's crazy what you can learn about rigorous organizational culture and teamwork from the beautiful game. (see HERE for an example)

i grew up playing competitive club soccer since i was maybe 7 years old. the culture of that club was inherently RIGOROUS and there was CONSTANT and INTENSE pressure to improve. not forced from a coach, but organically and inherently present.

and not just pressure to improve so that you don't ride the bench, but pressure just to STAY ON THE TEAM period.

my club team played all year long growing up. a couple seasons and several tournaments throughout the year and each season we would add 3-5 top players to our team from other clubs in the region. SO THAT our team would keep getting better and better all the time.

basically 3-5 top players would come in to the team each season which meant the BOTTOM 3-5 had to go. they lost their spot. they were no longer a part of the team.

for the good of the team, the bottom 3-5 players are getting dropped every time you turn around.

so, yeah, i was looking over my shoulder A LOT. trying to make sure i did whatever it took to not be in that bottom 3-5.

it makes you feel the pressure. big time.

if you don't stay out of the bottom 3-5 you are done. for the sake of winning games. for the sake of being the best.

for the sake of the mission.

that was a rigorous culture.

it forced me (and everyone) to work HARDER to constantly IMPROVE!

organizations are like this too. some more than others. i think it's a good thing. it's a good pressure. the organization will naturally get BETTER and BETTER this way as each individual improves.

if a central midfielder is not improving while the rest of the team is... we can always go find another (better) central midfielder. same with a position in an organization. if you're not constantly improving you will eventually be passed up by someone better.

and it's a teamwork thing ultimately. if you're not improving and being the best YOU that you can be then you're letting your whole team down. just like that central midfielder who's not improving... the rest of the team knows it. they have to compensate for him. he is letting them down.

if you're not giving it your all and constantly improving - you're ultimately not a team player.