Good Enough For Elite Sport! Good Enough For Your Business!

Football is a game of structure, strategy, leadership, planning, reacting to change and ultimately achieving the outcome you are after.  Doesn’t that sound like business too?  Aren’t these exactly the characteristics of your business – structure, strategy, leadership, planning, reacting to change, all with the aim of achieving that desired outcome.

Recently I was hit by a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious).  There are so many similarities between any sport and business and yet one of the most critical elements in sport, planned breaks (e.g. ¼ time, ½ time, ¾ time) don’t even exist for so may businesses.

Think about it – how many sports go from start to finish without some form of break to think about how things are going, to realign and to re-establish the planning of what needs to be done.  Tennis, cricket, golf, hockey, all football codes, even darts and snooker all have breaks scheduled in before the game starts.  Every player and coach knows there will be a chance to review and plan for the next period of the game.  You could argue swimming and some athletic events have no break but even then there are generally a series of heats with breaks before the final event begins.

So where’s the learning here?  Take a look at your business:

  • Do you have a game plan for your business?
  • Where is your planned break for your business to review, reassess and if required change or adjust?

It is common in business to blame the team – they’re no good at their job, they seem to always be going away from what they’re supposed to be doing, they’ve got a bad attitude, why can’t they just get the job done?

Now turn these questions on their head and as the business owner ask questions where you take responsibility for these issues.  Replace “they” with “me” or “I” and talk about your “feeling” on these matters.  I feel that I haven’t been able to create an environment where my team are great at their job, I feel that I haven’t found a way to get the business set up so everyone is on the same page, I believe all people have good in them yet I feel that I haven’t been able to get this attitude from my people, what can I do to ensure that we get that job done?

As soon as the language changes from “they” to “I”, you will begin to ask better questions and get better answers.  Just from these questions alone you might just be asking yourself:

  1. Have I created a game plan?
  2. Have I formalised it and shared it with my team?
  3. Have I created a strategy where I will revisit and review my game plan regularly in a planned manner?

If your answer to any of these questions are NO and you would like to take responsibility for your business and team performance email to book a FREE 1 hour consultation with one of our professionals.

2 thoughts on “Good Enough For Elite Sport! Good Enough For Your Business!

  1. Folks, Think your blogs are fantastic and great to see your company being so proactive.
    Unfortunately I have to disagree with you on this one though. I would hate to think that anyone working for or delivering services to my business behaved in anyway like some sports people. Particularly those who have recently been identified as drug takers and cheats. Or those in the so called elite swimming community who have quite clearly developed a culture which many of us would find quite offensive.
    Whilst I am not an anti-sports person, I follow real football, love cricket and F1 and go to the gym every week, my experience through live has been that people who obsess about sport sometimes do so because they often have no other real interests life. Their first question is often which team do you follow rather than how’s your family, how’s business or how’s work. Personally I think its about time we stopped putting sports people up as role models – particularly given the recent course of events. It’s also time we stopped using sport analogies in business. There are many other much better role models and much better business analogies.
    I spent this morning in the children’s hospital with a number of very dedicated and professional researchers and medicos. I also spend a lot of time with professional Engineers of various disciplines who every day contribute to building this great nation. And volunteers who work for organisations like HeartKids, the Children’s Tumour Foundation and a range of other charitable organisations whose efforts often go unnoticed.
    How about we forget about sports people for a while and start putting some of these other real heroes within our society on the pedestal?

  2. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your continued interest and support of our blog. Your point is well made about the behaviour of some sports people however I think, with balance, it should be acknowledged that a number do wonderful things beyond the field of play (eg Glenn McGrath, the late Jim Stynes) and like many industries the bad apples ruin the barrel for the good apples. You are right, there are so many great causes out there beyond sport – currently we are enjoying the opportunity to work with a wonderful charity Defib Your Club, for Life which is lead by a paramedic and a mum who both are driven by the purpose to save lives.

    That said, I do hope that the message of the blog was not lost amongst the discussion re the behaviour of some sports people. The analogy drawn is one of planning, execution of the plans, reviewing those outcomes and then adjusting and recalibration. This analogy is certainly not limited to sporting experiences and was on this occasion merely used to assist in delivery of the message.

    Look forward to your future interaction with our online engagement.

    Kind regards,

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