As the NFL regular season draws to a close over the next 3 weeks, it’s a good time to get in some football analogies – particularly analogies that relate to business. Many coaches attempt to create a team culture, believing that how they work, communicate, relate, and interact on an ongoing basis impacts their on-the-field success.
Consider these keys to creating your own corporate culture just like a successful football coach.
Target the Super Bowl
· If a healthy culture is defined as having everyone on the same page, going in the same direction. You have to define the “direction.” Leaders need to set long-term goals for the organization – a Vision of what it wants to achieve or what it wants to become. To most professional football teams, it’s the Super Bowl. Create that Vision.
Score More than the Other Guys
· Understand that getting to the Super Bowl (your Vision) requires you to accomplish certain milestones along the way. Know those milestones, those nearer-term goals for your organization. To an NFL team, they cannot get to the Super Bowl without winning games, and winning is defined simply as scoring more than your opponent. Define your organization’s milestones.
Know Who to Block
· Make sure everybody understands their individual roles. Lack of clarity for an Offensive Lineman can cause his quarterback to be sacked. Lack of clarity for a customer support person can cause an organization to lose a customer. Be clear with everyone on their individual role.
Huddle Like a Football Team
· Teams huddle to call out the play. When do you get all your individuals (or individual departments) together to discuss how you’re going to work on the next project or initiative? Everybody needs to know how their role will fit into the team picture, and they need to know the roles of others around them. Huddle with co-workers.
Get First Downs on the Way to Scores
· Don’t always through the long-bomb. Winning a game involves about 150 plays. If you keep moving forward on offense 10 yards at a time, you’ll keep progressing toward the goal line. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Have a plan. Work the plan. Celebrate each first down, celebrate more on scores, and celebrate like crazy when you win.
With the right Vision, understanding of near terms goals, clarity of roles, communication, teamwork, and great execution, maybe your last celebration will be your Super Bowl!
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