“Praise united team players and retrain the ones whose individualism hinders overall goals.” Bill Belichick
Preparation is the enemy of failure. Failure is a learned disability unyielding in its demand to beleaguer champions, destroy the uninitiated, curtail improvement, kick the losers to the curb. The greater fear of failure is what drives determination, desire to succeed, intentions backed by determined results. It is preparation, well-conditioned, maturely minded and cohesive team preparation that wins games, wins markets. That takes and makes market opportunity: ensures and delivers business growth for any team. To best congener and mature a successful winning team within business, within football means everyone has to give up a little bit of their individuality, everyone has to matrix talents into one dynamic and effective competitive force. In essence, all for one becomes all is won.
In business, within our own personal brand performance we must acknowledge we cannot win all the time. We can and must however play to win. We can and must assiduously unleash personal and team capacity with an unyielding heart, mind and deliberate eye focused on winning. If winning all the time was our only measurement of performance, our only KPI (key performance index) then we would never improve, never reform, never build new muscle… never learn lessons to strengthen from our failures. In essence, the best of us lose, while the very best of us stay focused on nurturing talent, keeping two eyes and two squinting ears on the business ball. We focus on the details, we share the dignity of knowledge, we respect our business hero’s, we move our team strategy and tactics with celerity, with determination with focus. We unleash unexpected capacity and make teams more effective, more relevant, more happy. We are the masters of change, the humble servants of opportunity, the coaches who lead from behind to push greatness ahead.
In business as in the sport of football we must have a solid, warranted and agreed to plan. A highly relevant and creative strategy for success. Every team member must know and be clear on his or her role in driving the organization, the company forward to achieve success. In the game of football nearly every player has a unique job responsibility, while also having the additional responsibility to help cover, protect and enhance the assignment of teammates. Every lineman thru every play has the responsibility to block a certain defender in an area. Every receiver and running back is focused to run an agreed to path or block a certain defender. The quarterback has the responsibility to deliver the ball successfully thru the mostly grave, herculean power of a moving defensive wall.
So, what’s the difference between business and the game of football? Simple. In football if you have 5 quarterbacks on the bench you have no quarterback. In football the refulgent team that plays together, resurgently cares, shares and unites together for the greater goal of mutual achievement not simply individual contributions, wins the game. In essence, and clearly, football and business in the language of leadership are mirroring intentions, constructs and heartfelt platforms for success. They are the same game, they are both cemented in team, not in individualism, not in failure.
Perhaps mighty Dan Marino, a NFL quarterback who played seventeen seasons for the Miami Dolphins said it best: “The will to prepare, the guts to risk, and the desire to be the best together as one team. These are trademarks of champions.” If you agree, then together, let’s “play ball.”
Peter Weedfald is the author of Green Reign Leadership, a book enriching leadership lessons to ensure business dominance.