Maximizing Margin

I'm a huge college sports fan who will admit to you in a weak moment that my three favorite holidays are New Years Day (bowl games) and the opening two days of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Last week as I was indulging myself at the college football buffet, I was struck by the stark difference between two halves of several of the games I watched. It's amazing how a team can dominate the first half but end up losing the game, and vice-versa.

The secret is in halftime; or sometimes in a time-out. Great teams maximize the margin they're given. They take it at the right time and use it effectively to either build on momentum, stop negative momentum, or make sure the whole team is on the same page before a critical point in the game.

What if leaders (and teams) planned and utilized margin the same way?

What if leaders took a one-week vacation halfway through their busy season instead of waiting until a more "natural" breaking point?

What if teams took a "time-out" together after the planning but just before the launch of a big initiative to make sure everyone is together?

What if leaders saved a day or two of vacation to take specifically at points when it seems like the enemy is gaining momentum?

What would it look like for you to maximize margin to give you, or your team an advantage?