The Superbowl happens in a few days. Watching the playoffs and bowl games over the last number of weeks, it’s obvious that different teams at different times set up in different ways. Here is my simplistic overview of three ways teams execute their offensive.

1. Coach calls the plays from the sidelines – he knows what both team’s tendencies are and what might work best coming from a well-prepared game plan.

2. Quarterback calls the plays in the huddle – things were pre-designed and now the team will execute this specific play as called. As the leader closest to the action, he leads from his preparation, his knowledge of the team’s resources and his gut.

3. Quarterback calls the play at the line – the leader in the moment surveys the environment, looks for weaknesses that can be exploited in the defensive alignment and calls out the specific play he feels will yield immediate success.

In all of these, the players know their assignments. They have practiced things over and over. They also know that their actions are dependant on what the individual across from them does as well. It’s a dance – well-rehearsed and spontaneous at the same time.

I’ve talked to individuals who lead with each of these styles. The best leaders know how, and even more importantly when, to switch from one to another.

How do you determine when it’s best to call the plays yourself, when your front-line leaders should call the plays, and when your team should respond and react in the moment to what’s in front of them?

Perhaps even before that question – do you and your team know and understand your roles and your game plan well enough to deliver winning results?

PS – I think San Francisco will win by 10 points.

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