Five Things Business Can Learn from Football

Can We learn From Football?

What can business learn from football?  Rick Novy

A lot of us spend time on the weekend watching football. Many of us get so involved that we forget about everything else until the game is over.

That said, while watching yesterday, it occurred to me that business can learn a lot from football, and here are five ways that’s true.

Five Things we Can Learn from Football.

1. Penalties Hurt

Playing dirty might get you ahead in the short term, but eventually it catches up to you. You don’t lose yards in business, but you do lose reputation. Playing by the rules might be more difficult, but people notice when you do things the right way. Running an ethical business may be slower, but it helps to build lasting partnerships and customer relationships.

2. A Good Quarterback Matters

Watching some bad teams over the years makes it quite apparent just how important the quarterback is to a team. It’s no different in business. The decision maker is also the person who sets the morale for the entire organization. Having worked as an engineer for over twenty years, I can attest. When the person in charge treats everyone with confidence and respect, it’s a pleasure to work in the group. On the other hand, when the person in charge is an ogre, it’s anti-motivational and employees feel like they are doing time, just waiting to go home.

A happy employee is a productive employee.

3. Games are Won in the Trenches

The quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers get all the attention, but to quote the great John Madden, games are won in the trenches. If the offensive line can’t protect the quarterback, the offense doesn’t spend much time on the field. You end up playing from behind, and playing defensively.

In business, the engineers designing the products, the factory workers who keep the wheels turning, and the marketing people who gather prospects are working down in the trenches. These are the people protecting the quarterback in business. Good yield, effective sales, efficient processes, and robust quality are the recipe for success.

4. Sometimes You Have to Be Aggressive

A quarterback needs to be able to work under pressure, in clutch situations. Being down by a field goal with under two minutes on the clock mandates aggressive play, but even early in a game, calculated risks often means the difference between a punt and a score.

In business, sometimes you just have to go for it. Putting everything into the effort and going after long-shot business opportunities often mean the difference between a fair year and an excellent one.

5. Games are Won and Lost in the 4th Quarter

Most football fans know the frustration of cheering for a team that can’t close out a game. Call it choking, call it lack of discipline, or lack of heart, it means piling up the losses. A team that plays strong in the 4th quarter often wins, even if they don’t play particularly well earlier in the game.

In business, whether it’s closing the deal, or completing a task before deadline, finishing strong matter. Often, it’s the difference between a one-time client and a repeat customer who will refer others your way.

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