These days, like so many other parents I know, I seem to spend vast amounts of time standing on wildly exposed areas of boggy land watching one or other of my sons play football.
Now don’t get me wrong, I genuinely love it – I’m just not that keen on the second stage hypothermia that tends to come with it!
Perhaps growing up with four brothers was fitting preparation for being a Mum of two boys. And I’m more than happy to concede that there are a great many things to admire about the ‘beautiful game’. However, to my mind, the offside rule is definitely not one of them!
When asked to explain the offside rule to his Dad, I heard a young lad reply that “it’s basically a way for the referee and linesmen to stop us from getting lots of goals”. Now, I’m quite sure that this was not the response that this particular father was hoping for and, (judging by the long string of expletives that followed) this father evidently felt that he had more than adequately covered this subject on a previous occasion! However, aside from making me chuckle, I found myself drawing some uncomfortable analogies between one boy’s interpretation of the offside rule, and the many stories that flood the likes of LinkedIn, in relation to difficult employers.
I guess that, as he works his way steadily through the various age groups, that young lad will come to realise that ‘offside’ is neither a conspiracy nor a cheap shot at reducing a team’s ability to score. His team may even eventually learn to employ the ‘offside trap’ to their advantage.
Leadership, however, is arguably a trickier concept to master. If an employer is seen as conspiring to halt creativity and flair, choosing not to ‘play the advantage’ (where the conclusion remains unclear) and metaphorically ‘blowing their whistle’ at every turn in a muscle flexing manner (simply because they are in a position of power) then productivity may unfortunately dwindle. The last thing that any organisation worth its salt should want is for the frisson that young, innovative staff can inject into a company to become an unwelcome casualty of overzealous micromanagement.

One Reply to “Offside”

  1. Oh Gaynor I know absolutely nothing about football or the offside rule but I do know about overzealous micromanagement. Micromanagement is a symptom of weak leadership, rather than a show of strength, as parents its our job to impart this knowledge on to our children at an early age. Love reading your blog cc

    Liked by 2 people

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