In the movie The Blind Side, Michael Oher, a troubled African American teen on the streets of Memphis was taken in by the Tuohy’s, a well to do Caucasian family. The Tuohy’s nurtured and loved Michael and Oher stayed in school, graduated and settled his anger management. Michael Oher played football on the offensive line at left tackle. Oher’s life continued to change and he played for the University of Mississippi and then professionally for the Baltimore Ravens. True story! That’s the movie’s backdrop, it’s a great movie, but here’s The Blind Side.
An offensive left tackle on the football team may be the most important lineman to a quarterback. When a right-handed quarterback drops back for a pass from the center; the lineman who hikes the ball, the QB’s back is facing his left. He cannot see behind him, hence the term blind side. The defense line normally places their best pass rusher on the offense’ left because of this. The offense normally tries to place their best blocker at the left tackle position to protect the quarterback. If the left side is weak, the quarterback is vulnerable and in danger.
In the movie, Cinderella Man, James Braddock was a boxer in the Depression era. Very good at his craft, he was actually a contender. Then he hit rock bottom. Really, rock bottom. Once having the world on a string to now living on government assistance. All was lost. He was about to lose his family, his home, his dignity. All of a sudden after being down on his luck and not being able to pay the bills, Braddock’s luck changes. He continues on a ride of undefeated bouts until he wins the Professional Boxing Championship. True Story! That’s the movie’s backdrop, it’s a great movie, but here’s The Blind Side.
Braddock had a powerful right hand. But even better, he could withstand taking a beating. That was good and bad. He had taken so many hits to the face that his vision was distorted while he was in the ring. The blind side refers to a punch that leaves your peripheral vision …. it can be either side. You can’t see it coming. For example, a right uppercut… jars the head up and maybe slightly to the left followed by a left hook to the temple…. thus the guy didn’t see it coming and is legally blindsided. Offensively, boxer’s punch in combinations; left jab, jab…right! or 1-2, 1-2, this is to create an unbalance to the opponent for a power punch, an overhand, uppercut or body shot. When an opponent doesn’t see a power punch coming, he or she is vulnerable and in danger.
Sea Biscuit, one of my favorite movies of all time has a great nugget about the blind side. Sea Biscuit was a small horse with a lazy side. Sleeping and eating were his favorite occupations early in life, and he wasn’t particularly well-behaved. That was before he met three men who would shape him into the best-loved sports legend of the 1930s: the owner Charles Howard, who had a knack for spotting potential in outcasts, the trainer Tom Smith, who was called a screwball for thinking he could heal horses other trainers would have shot, and the jockey Red Pollard, who started out as an exercise boy and stable cleaner because in the Depression he would settle for anything. Pollard would pick up fight for extra money early in his career before teaming up with Howard and Smith. Well in these fights, Red was hit so many times, he lost the sight in one of his eyes. True story! That’s the movie’s backdrop, it’s a great movie, but here’s The Blind Side.
Red Pollard could not see and would miss the opportunity to win a race when the field of horses shifted during the race. Once the “hole or spot” was gone, it was gone! Red lost a few races because of the blind side and in horse racing you can’t afford to lose in a tight race. The margin of victory is small but the profits of victory are very large. When you can’t see your opportunities or your opponent, you could leave yourself vulnerable and in danger.
Here’s My Point!
When it comes to your business, What is your blind side? How are you protecting it? Every business has a danger zone. Every business has vulnerabilities. It doesn’t matter if you are a one man/woman show, a small business with under 50 employees or if you run a team corporately, you must know your blind side. If you don’t, you may be vulnerable and in danger. When you sit down and study your S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), you will have a greater understanding on your business and the environment around it. But what if you are blind sided? We know what we know and we know what we don’t know. But we don’t know what we don’t know. When you are blind sided, you don’t know your S.W.O.T.. You cannot maximize your strengths. you cannot minimize your weaknesses, you cannot identify your opportunities and you cannot defend your threats. As in these examples in the movies written about previously, each had a trainer or coach to guide them through the tough times. Each future champion had someone look at their situation and gave them advise to become better, no matter the circumstances current or past.
Here’s a free coaching tip for you: Have someone outside your organization that you trust and has experience to take a look at your business, identify your S.W.O.T. and your of course your blind side. You will see things much better! (smiley face)!
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