Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just Standing There - Works in Soccer Too!

To confirm the efficacy of “just standing there,” check out the research on soccer penalty kicks. Scientists analyzed 286 free kicks (in which only the goalie can prevent a score). They found goalies dived to the right or left 94% of the time. This prevented scores fewer than 15% of the time. By staying put the goalie was twice as likely to make a save.
Why, then did goalies nearly always leap? For the same reason meeting leaders do. “They want to show that they’re doing something” said Michael Bar-Eli, one of the researchers. "Otherwise, they look helpless, like they don’t know what to do.” Next time you feel the urge to rescue that meeting, try just standing there. Take a deep breath. Sometimes all people need is that extra 10 seconds to take some responsibility.

---Marv Weisbord

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of the observation by anthropologist Angeles Arrien from her cross cultural research on the archetype of Warrior:

    "Indigenous societies throughout the world connect to the process of empowerment through the mythic theme and archetypal expression of the Warrior....The principle that guides the Warrior is showing up and choosing to be present."

    Just "showing up and choosing to be present" is a necessary and often sufficient action of leadership. In leading meetings as well as life.

    Rick Lent