In football and in business, it pays to set goals, develop a strategy, and practice. What's interesting is that most National Football League (NFL) and other sports teams do a better job than businesses do in key areas of leadership and management. Here are the lessons that can benefit your business, too:
- Practice isn't optional: It's unusual for a team to run through a presentation three or more times before pitching a new client. And how many people take the time for a debriefing after important meetings? The next time your team faces a difficult situation, spend some time training for the encounter.
- Coaches can't play. Since coaches can't get in the game, they must lead from the sidelines, which builds important skills. Too often, managers simply fix mistakes or handle small tasks rather than take the time to coach their direct reports. But if managers can keep themselves "out of the game," they can build stronger, more effective teams for the long run.
- Everyone uses a playbook. Many companies lack defined systems and processes. With no clear "playbook" for how the company likes things done, team members end up running in different directions. This absolutely would not fly on a sports team. Having a playbook makes it possible to keep up momentum when people are out sick, on vacation, or leave the company.