Sports are a great metaphor for succeeding in life, no matter the endeavor that you're pursuing.
During that offseason of 1978, The San Francisco 49ers hired Bill Walsh who went on to lead this franchise to multiple Super Bowl championships.
While the Super Bowls are impressive, even more impressive is the execution of turning around this 2-14 team into a champion in two years.
It wasn't the lucky selections of draft picks or secret tactics that lead to this turnaround, it was the Standard of Performance.
What is the standard of performance and why should you implement it
In the book The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Walsh describes the standard of performance as "a way of doing things, a leadership philosophy, that has as much to do with core values, principles, and ideals as with blocking, tackling, and passing; more to do with the mental than with the physical."
Coaches tucked in their shirts. Players couldn't sit down on the practice field. The quarterbacks held the ball a specific way. Linemen and receivers were analyzed over several different drills to the tiniest of details. The locker room culture was especially scrutinized as players couldn't smoke, fight, nor use profanity.
The strategies used to turn around the 49ers can be implemented to help you succeed with your health and business.
Be process-oriented, not outcome-oriented
It's tempting to get caught up in the big picture of imagining future revenue targets, a sexier body, or winning the Super Bowl. But, the everyday details are what creates the fabric of your results. If you don't address the everyday details, you won't achieve your desired result.
Walsh couldn't predict when the 49ers would win a Super Bowl, but he could control details such as the everyday actions during practice. You can't pinpoint when your business will top a million dollars. You can't pinpoint when those ten pounds will slide off.
But you can control your daily behaviors and decisions.
Focusing on the details places you in a process-oriented mindset which keeps you in the present moment (i.e. the only moment that you can control).
As Walsh states, "take care of the details and the score takes care of itself."
Your revenue goals will take care of itself if you're addressing details such as creating a great customer experience, developing transparent employee policies, and tracking various performance metrics.
Your fitness goals will take care of itself if you're addressing details such as eating healthy, working out, and sleeping.
Accountability is a must
Accountability is essential to succeeding because it raises the stakes for everyone involved, requires commitment, and makes you responsible for your actions. Being accountable means taking ownership and dealing with the consequences of the results (ideal or not).
In business, that's why metrics and analytics exist because they serve as unbiased proof of if you're getting the job done or not. In fitness, it's a good idea to involve a friend who will keep you accountable and document your progress to see if you're getting the job done or not.
Most importantly, establishing accountability brings people into the mix. Nothing is accomplished by yourself. Championships, billion dollar companies, nor six packs are a solo endeavor.
Culture and environment matters
How's your work environment? Does it inspire you or drain you? How about your health environment? Are the people around you lifting you up or bringing you down? Are there foods lying around that support your health goals and make you feel better on a daily basis or not?
Before you're a Super Bowl champion, million dollar company, or a fit entrepreneur, it's important to behave as if you're already one.
Before achieving your big goal, it's essential that you develop a culture and environment that supports and allows these types of goals to happen. Cultivating a positive culture and environment helps with developing the right mentality, attitude, support, and behaviors that ultimately lead to your desired goal.
In today's world, it's easy to get side-tracked and fall into a rabbit hole or suffer from the information overload of tactics and strategies. But as we learned from this rapid turnaround, success doesn't require complexity, success requires a ruthless focus and execution of the fundamentals.