Winning in Sport and Business Pt. 2

February 08 2021

Last night, millions of Americans flipped on their TV’s to tune into Superbowl LV and see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Kansas City Chiefs. Although the Chiefs were favored to win for the second year in a row, Tom Brady pulled off his 7th Superbowl win. Now whether you like or dislike Tom Brady, there’s no denying the guy is truly one of the best to ever play the game. If you know me, you know I fall into the “disliking Brady” category – but the guy is an amazing athlete and regardless of if you like him, there are so many lessons to be learned from any winning team. I was reminded of a parallel I found when watching golf, how alike sports and business truly are. As I said in my 2016 blog, “I think the most distinct parallels are strategy, leadership, and teamwork.”

I continued saying…

“Sports teams have a game plan that puts their best players in the right position on the field with a strategy that gives them the best chance to win. And as in sports, businesses need to have a game plan that puts their ‘players’ in the right position to win…

Every great team has great leaders. Businesses are no different. It was Jack Welch of GE who said, ‘Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.’ The most successful businesses foster an environment that develops leaders because leadership is about action, not titles. Leadership can be on your shop floor, in your call center or your executive offices. Developing great leaders in each area of your business will be a key factor in determining long-term success.”

Rereading this blog and reflecting on last night’s game, it’s clear how the strategy, leadership and teamwork Brady and the Bucs exhibited led them to a win. Of those three distinct takeaways, I think Brady best exemplifies leadership and while the game was a bit boring and uncontested by the Chiefs, there are huge lessons for the young QB Patrick Mahomes to take away just by competing against Brady. Truly successful leaders learn how to activate the genius in others. They lead their teams to success by helping others discover their potential.

Some ask what Brady did for Mahomes when the Chiefs lost to the Patriots in the 2019 AFC Championship. Mahomes recalled, “The biggest thing he said was, ‘Stay with the process and be who you are.’ He didn’t want me to change at all. He wanted me to go out there and take advantage of every single day...”

There are so many immense business lessons that spark thought after watching every big sporting event and I’m reminded that great units, led by strong leaders, built around a solid strategic plan will ensure an environment where your company (or team) wins.

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham

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