The Challenge of Keeping Score

23 03 2012

What I love about sports competition is the visual measure for all to see as the game is taking place. As athletes strain to get the advantage they glance periodically at the scoreboard to get a gauge on their progress. The scoreboard pushes a competitor to go harder and faster trying different strategies in a constant game of trial and error in pursuit of victory.

Could you imagine a sports competition in which no scoreboard was kept? It would be kind of meaningless. Yet in life many people do not keep a scoreboard to push themselves to victory. Sports would be pretty meaningless if there were no scoreboard but many do it all the time in life where it really counts.

Orrin Woodward in his book Resolved has a chapter on keeping score in the game of life. Continuosly doing a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Adjust) process on progress toward a goal. So why do people stop the process of keeping score with something as important as their life?

“It can be embarrassing when a person discovers the gap between the skills he wants and the skills he has”

“It takes courage to make adjustments personally and professionally, since most people value comfort over change”  

Woodward gives three reasons why people will hide from the reality of the scoreboard:

1. The Blame Game and Passing the Buck: Anytime someone assigns the blame to something or someone else they surrender control of their life.

2. Winning Isn’t Worth It: Someone not willing to work hard for success or the thinking that they are doing pretty good are pressure reliefs to striving for something more.

3. Vicarious Victories: Hiding in the stands watching others on the sports fields getting victories transferring them as their own.

So how do you keep a scoreboard to self improvement. Here is a sample that you can do then apply to other areas of your life. Get down on the floor right now and do as many push-ups as you can…….. Go ahead, I’ll wait……Seriously! Now write down how many you did so you can see it. (Plan) Now set a goal to improve that number 10% by the end of the week. (D0) Then check your progress in a week and adjust based on how well you did. (Check) If you completed the goal celebrate and now set a bigger goal. (Adjust) If you did not meet the goal, brainstorm, then change what is needed and go after the goal again.

Push-ups may not be an area you care about, but you can see how you can take this concept and apply it to other areas in your life that you wish to improve. Let’s go out and be a culture of continuous improvement and watch the culture that is created.

Enjoy the journey, Steve Leurquin 

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16 responses

28 03 2012
James B.

In our area, a lot of the kids sports are not keeping score because they say they don’t want to hurt anyone feelings. We always keep score and the kids also do in thier heads. We have a little saying in our family. I will say “what’s fun?” and the kids will respond “winning”. And I then ask “how are you going to win?” and they reply “by practicing hard.” They know that they are not always going to win, but if they practice hard and give it your all, you will still be succesfull.

26 03 2012
Chris Brady

Great post on an essential process we all need to master! Your example of the push-ups helps open eyes to the smallest arena of everyday life for its application.

26 03 2012
steveleurquin1

Thanks Chris. We will post peoples push-up totals on this blog next week 🙂

26 03 2012
Greg Streuly

This post reminds me of the time I had a conference in Syracuse, NY and I saw the memorial they had to the inventor of the Shot Clock, Danny Biasone. This guy made a profound change in the game of basketball. Before him, the average team score of an NBA game was 79 points, after four years the average team score was 107 and attendance had rose over 40% (according to wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_Clock).
Before I was involved in the LIFE TEAM, I was living life without a score board and without a shot clock. Now I’m not only keeping score, but I’m also aware that the shot clock is ticking.

26 03 2012
steveleurquin1

Interesting! Even if it is basketball 🙂 it’s a good example of how keeping score can improve things.
Steve

25 03 2012
rjfisher1

Thanks Steve – I especially appreciate your visuals. Helps cement it in my mind, and I will have to PDCA for a few weeks before I’m ready to report my push up results 🙂

26 03 2012
steveleurquin1

Let me know how many you get. We can do a running total on the blog!
Steve

26 03 2012
rjfisher1

Yikes

24 03 2012
Kristen Seidl

The opposite of keeping score = Drifting – to move leisurely from place to place; especially without purpose. As you stated above, those who don’t keep score in the game of life will usually end up exactly where they don’t want to be. Keeping score is critical to success anywhere! Thanks for being the example Steve.

26 03 2012
steveleurquin1

Thanks Kristen. Resolved is an awesome book with great lifetime lessons.
Steve

24 03 2012
Steve Sager

How ironic that I just had this discussion with my 22 year old son yesterday in the car.

He said “I just don’t get why we (as a culture) reward people to not keep score; that just states 2 things…1) it increases poor habits of not striving for your very best & 2) it says to the one who works their butt off that it doesn’t really matter….this is whats wrong with our country.”

I was so proud of a 22 year old man-who see’s the value of continuous growing, learning & competition in life. Great post Steve!!

24 03 2012
steveleurquin1

If your son was thinking about this the same time I was that makes him a smart man!:)

26 03 2012
Gary Severson

It makes a huge difference when you have parents like Steve & Kelli, for example, who refuse to take the easy way out in life. Through their example, you see the residual effects start to take place through their children, their friends, their co-workers and their communities. They’re mastering something that very few ever do; finding the victory that lies in every defeat and learning and growing from them. Erika and I are beyond proud of the difference this couple is making in this culture.

26 03 2012
steveleurquin1

How someone parents lays the framework for the rest of their lives. Thanks to both of you for leading and passing proper thinking on to the next generation.
Steve

24 03 2012
Justin Zautner

Thanks Steve! Another great post! This can’t be reinforced enough! This article is a great reminder for myself, and hopefully many others, so we can all implement this process into every area of our lives.

24 03 2012
steveleurquin1

You are right on that one JZ.

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