Straight to the GoalJan. 24, 2021
It was clear from a very young age that legendary soccer player Lionel Messi’s style of play was different from the other kids. If you read what coaches remember most about watching him play as a 13-year-old, one phrase surfaces repeatedly:
- "he always headed directly for the opponent's goal"
- "he always looked to get to goal"
- "he was a very small player…who headed straight for the goal"
There’s a fearless transparency to that approach. With his actions, Messi is communicating: “look, I’m here with one purpose…to put the ball in the back of the net as often as possible. I’m not going to waste a moment passing the ball around, establishing position, when we could be attacking. And I’m prepared to face whatever conflict comes from it”
If you think about your own communication, how clearly do you make your intentions known?
- Do you say to your spouse “I’d really like to have a conversation about our finances this weekend, would that work for you?” or do you ask “what do you have planned for Saturday?” (hoping for an opening to bring up your topic).
- Do you tell your manager “everything’s good!” or do you acknowledge “I’m concerned that you and I had a few misunderstandings last week…when are you available to talk about it?”
I’m not suggesting you should always be brazen and direct with every communication. The point is to ask, if you were 10% more willing to lay the most important, potentially uncomfortable issues out on the table, how much more often might you have the results and relationships you really want?
Read the full article about Messi on ESPN.com: "Barcelona, Lionel Messi and the napkin: Oral history of his transfer, arranged 20 years ago":