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First Week of the NFL Season – Management Lessons from the Executive Business Coaching Perspective

Listening to players, coaches, and football analysts review the games from the first week of the NFL season there are themes that come out that apply to any team or business.  Many seem to forget that football teams are individual businesses competing for one prize, to be Super Bowl Champions.  A lot of the commentary about the games and the teams is the language of business when you strip out the football words like pass, quarterback, tackle and touchdown.  Here are a few comments from last week.

  • That was a well designed and executed play (Management Process & Training)
  • Poor communication in the secondary is why they got burned for that touchdown (Communication)
  • They had to trust in their teammates to be where they are (Communication / buy-in)
  • That was a great individual performance but he got no help from his teammates (Teamwork)
  • The coaches leave nothing to chance.  They make sure everyone is prepared (Management Accountability / Training)
  • We won, but we have a lot of work to do to learn this system (Commitment to Continuous Improvement)
  • My coaches and I take full responsibility for the team not being ready to play today (Management Accountability)
  • The offensive line has only been working together for 2 weeks.  As they spend time together they will get better (Training, Commitment to Continuous Improvement)
  • We have a lot of good pieces; we just need time to gel as a unit.  That requires practice and time together perfecting things with our coaches (Training, Management Process, Commitment to Continuous Improvement)

I am sure you see the themes

  • Communication – This is two-way communication or really three-way communication (Management => Employees; Employees => Management; Employee ó Employee).  Remember that communication has been completed
    • When the message has been received and understood
    • When employees have “bought-in” to the system and approach.
      • Every team has the stated goal of winning, but not all teams have the buy-in of the players
  • Training – Training in football is practice!  They drill and drill on the same play to get it right and then to get it better.  There are some plays that they practice everyday.
    • How often do you train your staff on what you want them to do?
    • How often do you ask them for suggestions on doing it better?
  • Execution– IT DOES MATTER WHEN you do things.  To do something at the wrong time, be it too early or too late, disrupts everyone else’s flow.
    • Be precise in your training.  It will improve productivity, which equals higher employee morale, which equals higher customer satisfaction, which equals higher profits.
  • Teamwork – When a person understands how their role impacts the larger organization it makes a difference in their commitment to the task.  Frequently people are more willing to go the extra mile to avoid a team failure vs. a personal failure.
  • Commitment to Continuous Improvement– This theme is ever present in sports but frequently missing in business.
    • It does not matter if you are the best team or the worst team in the league you hear constant comments about staying hungry, trying to get better individually and as a team.
      • Those teams that do more than play lip service (remember to include management / ownership) are the consistent winners.
      • Teams that never rise to the top or who fluctuate greatly in performance from week to week and year to year do not understand this commitment and how powerful it can be.

As your Executive Business Coach here are a few questions

  • Is your favorite NFL team a consistent winner?
  • Does ownership / management blame the talent on the field while ignoring their role?
    • The buck needs to stop up the food chain with the owners and managers of the business.
    • Blaming the players (employees) can work for a given situation but continual poor performance is a management issue.  PERIOD!

So, how does your organization do in consistently delivering on its commitments?

Are you blaming the players (employees) for continual poor performance?

If so it is time for a change in management thinking and approach.

Contact us at RMCStrategies.  We have customized coaching and consulting solutions as well as online management training webinars.

A key to management is making decisions.  DECIDE to make a change and Contact us NOW!


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