Sports and Business #2…

stk136433rke   To continue on with the theme of sports vs. business, there really is much we can learn from the professional sports world. In so many ways, it is all about teamwork!

The most successful franchises indeed have all of the elements working together. It starts with the ownership that has a genuine commitment to making it all happen – which basically means they are willing to invest the money that it takes to continue to grow. This includes the stadium infrastructure and training facilities, just like business owners need to stay current with the equipment needed to remain technologically current. It also takes the money to invest in the employees – both the players and the staff to lead the players -coaches. This investment is definitely ongoing, not only with the initial hiring, but also in player development which is akin to encouraging and paying for continuing education, sales training, seminars, and conferences.

Successful franchises rely heavily on the head coach – the ultimate leader of the team, to teach, inspire, motivate and evaluate each of the individual players. To assist them they have a variety of assistant coaches – or as in business, department managers. Each of these assistants need to continually look at ways to improve performance. This could be in developing new plays, or processes in the business world, and making changes as needed to keep the whole team moving forward. It is the experience of these coaches that needs to be translated and communicated to each of the players. It is not enough to just have a “play book” on the shelf – rather they spend a tremendous amount of time in training camps looking to run plays, assign responsibilities, and practice – then keeping track of all the stats. This is the same in the business world too – we need to continually train our people, track the progress and hold them to standards – all with the idea of improvement. If we cannot consistently hit the quality or efficiency standards, then ultimately our clients will look elsewhere – just like the sports fan that chooses to support other teams when the results aren’t achieved on the field.

Then there are the players themselves – the employees on the production line. Okay, this might be more of a stretch in comparing them with some of the high paid, demanding athletes! None the less, these are the ones actually playing the game. With the right coaching and support from management, they will make the plays, hit the balls, score the goals. Over time, with the right players on the team and coaches to push while also holding them accountable, you will find a very passionate group of people who will drive themselves to achieve a common goal – winning a game, a divisional race, a championship, or business success! Everyone has to be on the same page, and “all in.” When one team player or employee lets you down, you need to find out why – is there something that you did not give them to do their job, or perhaps it just was not a good fit?

Teamwork is an ongoing challenge. Just when you think you are all set, things change – technology, people, spirit. Then the game starts all over again!

How is your team doing? What are the challenges you are facing? Are you giving them all they need to win?

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