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You finally landed the career you’ve waited a lifetime to perform. But when your boss hands you the corporate “playbook,” you decide NOT to read it. Does this sound ridiculous? Or does it sound awkwardly familiar?

When it comes to landing dream jobs, most of us would be thrilled to learn everything we could about our new role, right?

After reading an article written by former NFL player Ryan Riddle in The Bleacher Report titled The Truth About Studying Your Playbook in NFL Training Camp, we couldn’t help but be curious about why many NFL players who have achieved the seemingly impossible status of pro athlete don’t read the playbook. According to Riddle, “about 75 percent of a system (the patterns run by a certain team member) is learned on the field at practice. Of the remaining 25 percent, maybe 5 percent of that system install is actually learned through reading a playbook on your own time.”

To many of us who work in an office (and especially to those of us who dreamed we would one day grow up to be Joe Montana), it seems crazy to imagine that any pro athlete who beat such insurmountable odds would not take the time to read the playbook. Shouldn’t we want to learn and study everything we can about how to succeed in our dream job?

“The reason has less to do with how much a guy cares about learning and more to do with the way in which players process and retain information,” Riddle writes. “Although some guys are able to successfully extract information from a playbook on their own and transfer that knowledge onto the field, most rely on the film review and interactions with their coaches to build the foundation for learning a new system. They then depend on actual reps in practice and walkthroughs for the information to be preserved.”

What does this have to do with the workplace? More than you may think. Employees across all industries are choosing to bypass reading the “playbook” in hopes they will learn the foundational aspects of their job — even the most basic things like company mission, vision and values — in other ways.

The National Business Research Institute (NBRI) recently conducted surveys to discover employee satisfaction and engagement data. Among many of the findings was how many employees actually know their organization’s mission (what your company is trying to achieve). Unfortunately for the company being surveyed, only 21 percent said they knew the mission. Were they too lazy to read it? Was it not presented in a way that made them want to learn it?

NFL players aren’t the only group of people who exercise different learning styles. We all learn in different ways. Some of us might need to watch someone else perform our job. Some may want detailed explanations. Some of us might need to experience the work so we can truly understand it. And — here lies a massive piece of advice for those of you who lead people or simply want to improve your own learning capacity — if you want to be a master at your dream job, or you want someone else to master theirs, learning styles are dictated by the learner, not the teacher.

Enter the 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development. Research credited to Morgan McCall and the Center for Creative Leadership that began in the 1960s and continues today to reveal specific learning styles of high-performing managers in the workplace. The 70:20:10 ratio refers to how knowledge and skills are gained:

70 percent from tough jobs (experience)

20 percent from people (boss or mentor)

10 percent from courses and reading

The 70:20:10 model has become widely accepted. Based on this research, here are some suggestions to change the way you present your corporate “playbook”:

Create experiences: Let people see the impact with their own eyes. Give employees a chance to see where your organization’s mission is being received. Help them have an experience with it. For example, one thing we’ve certainly learned through decades of research on employee recognition, if you’re training managers on the importance of recognizing their teams, show them the data, show them a simple process and take them out of the training room and show them the impact. Ask them to actually recognize someone and see what happens.

Coach: Yes, the title “coach” often gets tossed around at the workplace with ambiguity, but it shouldn’t. It should be crystal clear. Compare an NFL coach’s focus to that of a stereotypical manager. Coaches focus on providing instruction, feedback, support, teamwork and accountability within the roles of his or her players. Their job is not focused on making sure everyone abides by the rules, but instead that everyone performs to the best of their ability within the rules of the game (often that means testing boundaries).

Simplify: When you absolutely must have written communication, keep it simple and digestible. Hone your ideas down to Twitter-length concepts (seriously, imagine you were coaching and leading through the media that have your workforce’s attention). Simple, precise messages that directly connect a person to their performance work the best. Nothing else will likely stick.

Of course, most leaders and companies like to believe that they’ve created organizational or job-related “playbooks” that work. But remember that it doesn’t matter how effective the leaders think they are at teaching. What matters is how well the players understand the plays and what they need to know and do to win.

David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom work with the O.C. Tanner Institute. Learn more about The New York Times best-seller "Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love" (McGraw-Hill) at