I am a big sports fan, in fact, at times, I have been called a fanatic. I first became interested in sports as a young boy over fifty years ago. It is interesting how my focus of attraction to sports has changed over the years.
When I was young, I idolized the players, their skills and strengths were something I wanted to attain. I was learning to play different sports, and I was able to understand how incompetent I was. Watching the successful athletes on television enabled me to set my goals on what I wanted to achieve. Unfortunately, I didn’t have plans or a strategy on how to become an athlete, so I remained a dreamer, and a fan.
As I got older, and I developed a competitive attitude, I modeled my competitiveness from my favorite sports teams. I was very happy when my teams would win, and very upset when they would lose. On the difficult side of this, I had the attitude of loyalty, and I stuck with my teams regardless of their winning records. The result of this, I was upset and depressed more often than happy.
In the past few years, as I have been evaluating businesses, and proposing and implementing solutions, my view of sports has changed again. Now I see in sports many of the same attributes I see in businesses. What leads to success in sports, many times also leads to success in business. And conversely, what leads to failure in sports, often leads to failure in business.
Let’s take a look at a couple of the different elements of a team in an athletic competition, and ask ourselves how we can apply them to our business to make them more successful.
Vision – A team has a vision at the beginning of the season. The vision is often to win a championship. Sometimes, winning a championship isn’t realistic, so instead the vision is to improve upon the previous season.
Watch how the team promotes itself. If the team believes that they can live up to the vision, then they will.
Leadership – A team has a set of coaches that are able to motivate the players, and develop their skills and attitudes to be able to successfully attain the vision.
Watch how the coaching staff empowers to players to be the best that they can be.
Goals – In order to succeed at achieving the vision, the team needs to make sure that everybody in the organization has set goals that are in line with the vision.
If the vision is to win a championship, then the goal must be to win more games than their opponent.
Plans – To achieve the goals, there need to be actionable plans. These plans can change depending on the opponent, or the resources (players) that are available to carry out the plan.
Plans, much like goals, must be in line with the overall vision of the team.
Communications – Without the coaching staff communicating with the players, the game plan cannot be executed. Communication requires listening, as well as speaking.
The better the team communicates, the better they will all understand the vision and the goals and plans necessary to successfully achieve it.
Teamwork – This is closely related to communications, but this is the action of actually working as a team. Every player has different functions and duties, and it is necessary that they understand the functions and duties of the other players so that they can all play together.
Without teamwork, it is an individual sport. Individuals can attempt to compete against a team, but they are rarely successful.
Attitude – Finally, and most importantly is the element of attitude. The attitude of the team members need to be in alignment with the vision. An attitude that is not conducive to success will affect not only the team member that possesses it, but the other team members and staff members. Positive attitudes are essential for positive results.
Attitudes, both positive and negative are contagious in a team atmosphere. Attitudes are developed over long periods of time, and can be difficult, but not impossible to change.
The next time you watch a sporting event, look for the elements listed above. How does your business compare? Where do you need to improve?
At Lyon Strategic Consulting, LLC, we partner with businesses and individuals to help them identify and overcome the obstacles between where they are now, and the success they desire. Please contact Lyon Strategic Consulting, LLC for more information.