I think we all can agree that football creates some fun competition, lets people enjoy some fan camaraderie, and brings about some great commercials during the Super Bowl! But football also has a lot to offer when it comes to the business side of life too. Football also offers a lot of leadership takeaways that we can learn and integrate into a business setting. As Newsletter Pro CEO Shaun Buck says, “The best teams all have the best plays, and those plays are things we can use to get ahead.”
As we kick off football season this year, many fans are excited and hopeful for the season. However, many of these fans will wind up disappointed — it’s the name of the game. In business, the same holds true. Many companies’ aspirations and expectations fall short, and sometimes, the underdogs go all the way!
When you have a break from all of the football hype this week, take a look at these big leadership takeaways we can draw from football!
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work.
There are many leadership takeaways in football, but the most important is the importance of teamwork. If you’re a fan, you’ll know that defense is just as important as offense, and even more crucial, the way that the entire team works together is where the magic lies. The same is true in your business. In the case of a doctor’s office, from the front desk staff member to the doctor, each team player has an important role, and these roles have to mesh together in just the right way to produce optimal productivity. The doctor, or quarterback, can’t carry the whole team to the Super Bowl (although many believe Tom Brady may be capable). In both business and football, a cohesive locker room is necessary.
Develop Your Playbook.
In the NFL, teams don’t head out onto the field with a “whatever happens happens” mentality — they have a game plan. In the offseason and every day at practice, they study their playbook, run drills, have a backup plan, and even have a backup plan for the backup plan. They are in peak physical condition and have the right mental headspace before each game. They come in prepared.
In your business, are your team members coming to work this conditioned and prepared each day? According to a study, nearly 59% of employees said they never received any form of training from their employers. Ensuring that your employees don’t fall into this category relies on you. Having proper systems, processes, and plans in place and training your employees on them is one of many vital leadership takeaways.
Don’t Skip Out On Practice.
In the NFL, in some cases, if a player misses practice, they can be fined — practice isn’t optional. In football, it’s rare to encounter a play you haven’t run through many times during practice. But in business, the sad reality is that practice is undervalued. Before pitching an idea to a client, does your team run through it a few times beforehand to iron out any kinks? And, what about a debrief?
Training for the encounter is crucial. Do you have rules and stipulations for if your employees miss meetings or do not participate in training? If not, it’s time that you do!
Remember That Coaches Can’t Play.
In business, it’s tough to let go of tasks and responsibilities and let your team do what you hired them to do. Instead of being overbearing and micromanaging your employees, work on being the boss you want to work for. On the field, the football coaches communicate strategy to the team, but the execution falls entirely on the players.
In the office, trust your team and let them do their job. Even if the tasks are done differently than you would have done them, they may be getting done better!
Attend The Watch Party.
There’s a reason football teams spend hours watching the game tapes and analyzing them — the reel doesn’t lie, and a bird’s-eye view changes things and allows you to see things from a different perspective. Debriefing after the game is crucial to learn from mistakes, celebrate and commend your team for great execution, and develop some great teachable moments. The key is to keep what works and throw out what doesn’t. So, the next time your team launches a new product, gives a presentation, or tries something new, be sure to debrief on it! As a business leader, it’s important to celebrate your wins this year, both for your football team and your staff. And with these important football and leadership takeaways, you’re sure to come out of the season better than you went in! With the right team, playbook, strategies, and practices in place, you are best set up to succeed. Best of luck!