Communication is a critical element of success for winning organizations. All members, from top to bottom, must be on the same page. It’s imperative that a fair and open line of communication be established. This will create a working environment that encourages the team and individuals to stay focused on the common goals of the organization.

As a member of the Atlanta Falcons, I played under Coach Dan Reeves, one of the best leaders and communicators ever. From the first day I signed with the organization Coach Reeves was honest in his evaluation of my talent, what he expected from me, and his vision of my role on the team.

Coach Reeves also emphasized communication between players. A football team is unique in that there are two separate units; offense and defense. Those units have little meeting interaction, if any at all. In some organizations they can have animosity toward one another when one side feels the other is not pulling their weight. That alone can be decisive. The curveball comes with the Special Teams units, comprised of players from both sides of the ball. It’s imperative these units, responsible for one third of the overall game plan, communicate and come together. The success of your kicking game can be the deciding factory of crucial wins and losses throughout the season.

One of my favorite ways to illustrate the importance of communication on the field is describing “the audible” from the offensive side of the ball.

  • Play is called in the huddle
  • Quarterback assesses the defense and sees that the play called will not work against the front presented or there is a better option we’ve practiced and prepared for
  • QB kills the original play and calls the “audible”
  • The entire offense must communicate in seconds
    • Offensive line changes blocking scheme
    • QB changes from a run to pass or vice versa
    • QB and line must recognize potential blitzes, redirect protection etc.

Those are just a couple scenarios that can happen from one play to the next. If one player is not on the same page as the other ten on the field, the results can be catastrophic. The same goes for any businesses at the corporate level. Lack of communication during trying times can lead to disastrous results.

If you can apply the second principal of the 3 C’s, Communication, from top to bottom in your organization, you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your goals!