In my most recent pass through Extreme Ownership I thought about the Cover and Move principle through the context of overall fitness in my goal of being a functionally fit adult. I realized how well this principle not only ties into teams, business, but also into overall health.
- Each member of the team is critical to success: strength, mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular health, nutrition, metabolic conditioning, injury prevention, self defense
- Departments and groups within the team must breakdown silos: most people start with one type of foundation. Whether it is running, weight lifting or sports from growing up. In order to be well rounded we must break down all the silos and understand how everything works together
- Cover and Move: the biggest thing is to always move. Hurt your shoulder? Cover by working on injury prevention, move by walking on a steep incline and dialing in the nutrition.
Apply this principle to business, health, and any teams you work with.
Excerpt from Extreme Ownership on this principle:
“Cover and Move: it is the most fundamental tactic, perhaps the only tactic. Put simply, cover and move means teamwork. All elements within the greater team are crucial and must work together to accomplish the mission, mutually supporting one another for that singular purpose. Departments and groups within the team must break down silos, depending on each other and understand who depends on them. If they forsake this principle and operate independently or work against each other, the results can be catastrophic to the overall team’s performance.
Within any team, there are divisions that arise. Often when smaller teams within the team get so focused on their immediate tasks, they forget about what others are doing or how they depend on other teams. They may start to compete with one another, and when there are obstacles animosity and blame develops. This creates friction that inhibits the overall team’s performance. It falls on leaders to continually keep perspective on the strategic mission and remind the team that they are part of the greater team and the strategic mission is paramount.
Each member of the team is critical to success, though the main effort and supporting efforts must be clearly identified. If the overall team fails, everyone fails, even if a specific member or an element within the team did their job successfully. Pointing fingers and placing blame on others contributes to further dissension between teams and individuals. These individuals and teams must instead find a way to work together, communicate with each other, and mutually support one another. The focus must always be on how to best accomplish the mission.
Alternatively, when the team succeeds, everyone within and supporting that team succeeds. Every individual and every team within the larger team gets to share in the success. Accomplishing the strategic mission is the highest priority. Team members, departments, and supporting assets must always Cover and Move — help each other, work together, and support each other to win. The principle is integral for any team to achieve victory.”