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Sound Business Practices

Steelers & the Seahawks, 2006 Super Bowl


Just Like Football, Business Success Requires Teamwork


By Sandy Hershelman

For the first time in 30 years, this Pittsburgh girl became a football fan again. Living near Seattle, when the Steelers played the Seahawks in the 2006 Super Bowl, only made it that much more fun.

Digging through my closet for some black and gold to wear into a sea of blue and green, I started thinking about the similarities between football and business.

Like football, running a business has the never-ending ability to surprise and amaze. Businesses can putz around for decades between truly phenomenal seasons. Starting players, like CEOs, continue to reinvent themselves: Look at Terry Bradshaw and Frank Gifford.

Customers' allegiances to businesses/teams can be totally fickle…and brand loyalty completely illogical. Ongoing top-notch advertising reminds them of why your team is the best of the bunch.

Teamwork is the name of the game. You need to have both a strong offensive and defensive line. Brute strength may be envied, but it's the wily little quarterback who could ultimately win the game for you.
Superstars are great, but don't ignore the guys on the bench. They are your future.

A great team needs a phenomenal coach. The team and coaches have to maintain enthusiasm and passion for what they do. Aggression and ambition spur them on, as they focus in on that vision given to them by the owners.

Some players are being paid a lot more than they're really worth. High turnover can be a pain in your wallet. You're looking for the best talent. What does your team have to offer a top-performing player? How can you best position yourself for team success through the upcoming years?

Business isn't usually a bloody battle. Competition is the name of the game. Besides, if you killed off all of the other teams, who would you have to play with?

Know your opponents, study their plays. Keep an eye on the other teams' standings. What games are you confident you can win? Which ones are iffy? Look at your own history. How can you improve your team's play?

Having pretty girls on the sidelines never hurts. Face it: Sex sells.

You need to measure more than just the final score. The game is often won by the team that made the fewest mistakes. Does a team member need to pass more? Or is controlling the number of fumbles your key to success?

The most important play is the next play. Sometimes it's a game of feet, not yards. It takes a bunch of small successes to make the goal. And then, sometimes you just have to punt. Taking a calculated risk often wins the game.

Your team has to turn a profit. If you're successful at what you do, you will make money. Controlling finances is key to longevity.

Play by the rules or you will get burned. But, realize now that some calls just aren't fair—and an injury can sideline the best of us. Have good medical insurance.

Anyone who is anybody can (and will) tell you how you should have made that last play. Pay attention to the folks with a proven track record. Think twice before listening to a loser.

The game's not over until that final buzzer. You can't wimp out midstream. There may be lots of ups and downs through the quarters…or years.

Do you have what it takes to win this year's Super Bowl? If not, what will it take to position your team to win in 2010? Strategic planning begins now.

More business management articles. . .

© 2006 Sandy Hershelman. All rights reserved.



Date Last Modified:2/24/06
Copyright © 1999-2006 Sandy Hershelman. All rights reserved.