Football season is here and I am excited! I love the smell of fall and the sounds of football; except the aggressive business of football…who loves that? Franchise players and Free Agents are the bargaining chips of the business end of the sport’s economy. In short, a franchise player is a grid-ironer who has “blue-chip” skills. They prove enough value that they command a high salary and a multi-year salary deal. Free Agents are players who have reached the end of their contract, and if a veteran have proved their value, but due to business reasons or for lack of proper timing may not have a long term contract. They become a commodity on the open market, and given good skills may be able to negotiate a lucrative deal for one season, usually to fill a role on a team as an interim, or to fill a need due to injury. Sometimes a free agent may command a higher one-year salary than that of his sweet-deal counterpart.
In our work-a-day world there are free agents as well. You too can be a free agent, but if you do take that plunge which can be exhilerating, you are wise to consider your deepest reservoir of skills and knowledge. Its good to keep in mind the Hedgehog Concept, which is a leadership strategy highlighted in Jim Collins’ book, “Good to Great”. The concept is drawn from a Greek poem in which a fox tries and fails to eat a hedgehog, who is always able to roll into a spiny ball at just the right time. Collins asserts, if companies were more like the hedgehog —that is, focusing on one thing and doing it well — then all the cunning and brilliance out there would not be a threat to success.
Each of us innately has hedgehog skills; we have practiced them successfully over time whether consciously or not. When we lead with them and refine our strengths we hone them to a competitve edge! If we focus on trying to improve our weaknesses, we allow our strengths to languish and we become less remarkable. The end result is that we likely will not vastly improve our weak areas and we delay accelerating our success. As we discover the music of our reservoir of strength and focus on refining our art, we propel ourselves to areas of greater influence and people recognize our aesthetic, like Pavoratti in a powerful aria! Bold! Loud! Moving!
Are you ready to be a free agent? Do you understand your areas of excellence? Are you ready to be intentional? I want to be an encouragement to anybody ready to press forward!