Here are four lessons football and the Big Game can teach us about small business, from Nevada Small Business.
Take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses
Successful companies – and winning football teams – look for a chink in the competition’s armor and use it to their best advantage. In Super Bowl XXXVI (2002) the underdog Patriots knew that the Rams’ one weakness was turnovers. Although the Rams out-gained the Patriots in yards by 427 to 267, the Patriots forced three turnovers and upset the Rams in a 20-17 victory. It pays to do your homework; researching the competition and looking for weaknesses to exploit can help you stand out from the crowd, gain market share and achieve success in 2010.
It ain’t over till it’s over
Play the whole game. In Super Bowl XLII (2008) the previously unbeaten New England Patriots took the lead with minutes left in the game. Instead of giving up, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to lead the Giants to a 17-14 win in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. Did your prospect just turn down your offer? Try again, or try a different prospect. Did your bottom line take a hit in 2009? 2010 is a new year, and it ain’t over till it’s over.
The harder you work, the luckier you get
Superstar football players don’t just show up at the big game and collect their Super Bowl ring. They are the ones who come early to practice and stay late, study game films, memorize playbooks, and learn to play hurt. “Overnight success” is usually the result of years of training, discipline and sacrifice, whether in the football arena or the business world. Spend time learning your craft, honing your skills, and putting in the day-to-day work necessary to build a solid foundation, and you too will succeed.
Leadership Makes the Difference
The New York Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII was in large part due to a change of leadership styles by head coach Tom Coughlin. The coach was known for being strict, rigid and demanding. By the beginning of the 2007-2008 season, his players were dissatisfied and uncooperative. Under pressure from the team’s owners, Coughlin decided to relax some of his rules. He formed a leadership council composed of veteran players, and began listening to their feedback. He encouraged players to attend social events like bowling nights to help build relationships off the field. Coughlin’s change of attitude produced a record 11 straight road victories and a stunning upset of the seemingly invincible Patriots.