Applying “Cover and Move”

"cover and move"

I often get wrapped up in the present.

I’ll ask myself, “What does my to-do list look like today?” Emphasis on today. Come 5 p.m., maybe I’ll look at my to-do list for tomorrow. But typically, I am on a 24-hour cycle. It’s how I function. Sure, I have larger goals and bigger deadlines. But, my workflow is usually daily-determined.

However, Leif Babin and Jocko Willink explain in “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win ” your focus can’t be just on you. And when I’m looking at my daily workflow, it usually is all about me.

Instead, the authors explain “cover and move” – a.k.a. teamwork. Team members must work together, covering each other’s weaknesses and moving to support each other’s jobs, to complete the mission. “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,” the authors stated. “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.

For instance, take your Box. As the owner, you have responsibilities and tasks your Coaches don’t possess or understand. Each day, you pay bills and implement systems while your Coaches train clients and build nutrition plans for members. You have separate tasks and different jobs, but you are not on separate teams.

If your Coaches are only thinking about their needs — software to build nutrition programs or more open gym time for clients — they might forget about how they depend on you, the owner, for more hours and finances to pay for operation costs.

Similarly, if you are only thinking about your needs — how to make money this month in the pro shop or planning a 3,500-square-foot expansion — you might forget you depend on your Coaches to build a solid membership base that buys product and funds your expansion.

You need your Coaches. And your Coaches need you. You might have different tasks and projects, but the overarching goal is the same — to build a successful business. “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,” wrote the authors.

Ask yourself how you are applying the “cover and move” tactic. Are you building an environment of teamwork? Or do you have an “every man for himself” kind of business? “Cover and move” means helping one another and working together, shared the authors. It’s key for any team looking to achieve success.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at