Authenticity in 16 Words?

by cv harquail on April 3, 2009

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At soccer practice this week, I came up with a great idea for my 3rd/4th grade girls team. As coach, I have great ambitions for my team this Spring — I want them to do more than chase the ball all around the pitch whilst squealing.  So, I need to teach them to think just a little bit about strategy , and about what they need to do together .

I hit upon the idea of distilling soccer strategy down into a few pithy sayings. I’m calling it "Soccer in 16 words."

Despite what I know about the dangers of reducing complex ideas into short sentences (e.g., mission statements, corporate values statements), I thought that this would be a great way to get my players thinking about what they each should be doing with the ball once they get their foot on it.tbradleydean flickr.jpg

Tomorrow’s game will be the true test…but the girls left practice feeling really excited that they now "know so much" about soccer strategy– all because I could get it down into 16 words that each player can remember . And execute. And shout to her teammates from the sidelines. And use to confirm that she played her own part well.

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So this got me to thinking, can I distill down a strategy for moving towards Organizational Authenticity, in  16 words?

Here’s what I came up with:

Organizational Authenticity in 16 Words

Walk the Talk.

Point towards purpose.

Reflect on our future.

Learn, to adjust.

Care a lot.

So that’s sixteen words. If we give ourselves some leeway, and allow maybe 5 more words, is there anything we should add? Let me know in the comments, below.

(And no, that’s not me in the photos. Being a mom as well as coach, I was the one taking the photos.)


Tracy Korman April 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

tremendous – good luck with the game

Maren Showkeir April 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

You made a great start! If I get five more words, I would add:

Clarify intentions.
Engage others.

Good luck with the soccer team. I’m curious what 16 words you gave them?

jamie showkeir April 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Clairfy intentions.
Choose accountability for the whole.
Tell the truth with goodwill.
Take responsibility for action.

CV Harquail April 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Maren and Jamie, Thank you for your contributions to the challenge! I guess that it’s no coincidence that you would both begin with the same advice: Clarify intentions. And as I look at the other suggestions I think — Of Course!! So, I’m ready to go wild and add an additional 19 words– it’s still succinct, and in being more complete can be even more useful. But there’s still room for more, if others have ideas to add.
I’ll put up a mini-post about the 16 Soccer words… cv

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