Here we go again! No, not with New Year Resolutions and a fresh start, but PLAYOFFS! The NFL playoffs started over the weekend and the College Championship is being played tonight. As I watched the end of the NFL season, and some of the College Bowl games over the holiday weekend, I saw a wide range of emotions on display. I saw joy and anger, optimism and disappointment. This emotional roller coaster was not just experienced by the teams on the field, but by the fans in the stadium (or in my family room). It highlighted how invested fans are in their teams. This week I am going to share how harnessing the playoff mentality and this type of excitement can benefit your business.
Playoff Mentality and YOUR Business
There are a lot of parallels between sports and business. In fact, in many business meetings I’ve attended there have been sport metaphors used to express urgency, a level of performance.
- “She hit a home run on that one.”
- “He struck out with that client.”
- “We need a game plan for that project.”
You don’t have to be a sports fan to see the parallels. Business is competitive, and you have to play to win. Just like the playoffs, it’s win or go home in business. However, the similarities are much deeper. Here are a few things I witnessed this weekend watching sports and how you can apply them to your business and create YOUR winning team.
Play to Win
You have to play to win. If you aren’t winning, you are losing and when you continuously lose, you go out of business. Playoffs bring an intensity and a sense of urgency with a win or go home scenario. You, and your employees, should bring that same intensity to your business, EVERYDAY!
Sports fans are cheering for their team to win every game. As a fan I’m receive no physical benefit from my team winning. The players, coaches and team organization benefit, but not the fans. So many times, in business though, employees don’t really care if the business wins. I have worked with employees that were almost cheering against their company because they didn’t see any benefit from winning.
Imagine if everyone in your company was doing everything they could to help the business win? How would that benefit your company? Now imagine if you had up to 70% of your employees indifferent to winning or even a handful actively working against you. Everyone from the CEO to the new hire walking in the door today need to be playing to win, and more importantly, needs to know what winning looks like!
This is something that just impresses me. Every weekend from September through January I see people out wearing something that represents their favorite team. It might be a jersey, t-shirt, gloves, jacket, hat, but it’s everywhere. Honestly, it continues all year round. Every week, fans are reminding me of their favorite brand (team), and nobody is paying them for the advertising!
People talk about their favorite teams waiting in line for coffee, on social media and at holiday parties. Sure, sports provide entertainment, but let me ask you this. Imagine if your customers had half the emotional connection to your products or services as they do to their sports team? People are loyal to their team, in good times and bad (unless they are consistently bad). Do your customers have that kind of loyalty to your brand? Do your employees have that type of loyalty? Why not?
Even the best teams don’t win the championship every year. Although there are always some that seem to be in contention every year. Consistently top performing teams take loss or a setback, or even a bad season, and build upon it. The next game, or the next season is always an opportunity to redeem yourself. Great teams don’t quit, they don’t give up, and they don’t accept defeat. They study setbacks, and build upon it to prevent them from happening again. Eternal optimism, and a sense of hope for the next challenge keeps them engaged, improving and loyal.
I have worked with individuals and teams that had become accustomed to losing the same problems on every project that they eventually accepted defeat as a way of life. This prevented growth, innovation, and eventually competitiveness. Do you struggle with the same challenges year after year? How are you working to resolve these problems, or have you accepted them? How could your business thrive if your team had eternal optimism?
This Week’s Challenge
How could having a playoff mentality in your business help you thrive? Find steps that you can incorporate into your business that will give your employees the same sense of loyalty and emotional attachment they have to their favorite sports team. When your employees begin to work with a playoff mentality, your company production, profits and customer loyalty will increase!
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.