Sporting events do not come any bigger than the Super Bowl. Even people who have zero interest in American Football for the rest of the year can become caught up in the excitement and razzmatazz of this event. Entrepreneurs can gain some important insights by thinking about why the Super Bowl is so successful and how teams go about winning it. Here are just a few of the game-changing lessons that could benefit almost any business:
Learn How to Read the Field
If a team in the Super Bowl is always just reacting to their opponent, they are very unlikely to take control of the game. The secret to success is to be able to ‘read the field’ – this means being able to predict the other team’s next move before they take it. Experienced players can develop good institution for the flow of the game, but the secret to reading the field is to carefully study the opposition beforehand.
Successful entrepreneurs also tend to be skilled when it comes to ‘reading the field’. Steve Jobs appeared to have an almost magical ability to predict how consumers and competitors would react to new products. There is no need to develop psychic powers just to stay one step ahead of everyone else – it just takes lots of research and the ability to reflect on what has worked in past and what hasn’t.
Know How to Get the Most from Your Team
The most successful Super Bowl coaches haven’t necessarily always had the best players, but they did know how to get the most from their team. It means being able to not only spot talent but also nurture it. Failure to make the most of available talent in a team isn’t just bad for the business – it also means employees who feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied.
Talent management should be requisite skill for any manager. This means giving employees the opportunities to demonstrate their talents, and to always be encouraging them to develop. The effort is worth it because it increases the strength of the team and improves employee retention.
Pay Attention to the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Competitors
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”
Art of War – Sun Tzu
The art to winning the Super Bowl isn’t just hard training, talent, and determination. It is also about having a deep understanding of strengths and weaknesses of the other side. This knowledge can then be used to create winning strategies. Even a team that appears to be weaker on paper can still mange a win if they are able to exploit the weaknesses in the opposing team.
One of the keys to succeeding in business is to understand the competition – this is particularly important in a niche where there are many players. It’s a shame, but there are plenty of fantastic businesses that have failed because they were outmaneuvered by a competitor. This is why it is worth investing time, money, and energy into research and intelligence related to the competition.
Have Unshakable Faith in Your Team
It is hard to imagine how a team could win the Super Bowl without the coach believing in them 100 percent. If there is any doubt that the team can pull off the win, it can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy – this is where the act of making a negative prediction causes the event to happen. If the coach is lacking in faith it is going to be picked up by the players. It means they go on the field lacking in motivation and on the defensive.
It can be difficult for managers to fully trust the rest of their team – this is why sometimes it is necessary to ‘fake it to make it’. The act of expressing unshakeable faith in these people encourages them to earn this trust.
Learn the Value of Teamwork
“Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.”
The Super Bowl is a great example of teamwork – not only for the teams that are playing but also all the different businesses and services that come together to make it happen. There is never one person who deserves the credit for this event – it takes the effort of thousands of people coming together with each bringing their own skills and expertise.
The idea of a lone entrepreneur making a fortune is a bit of a myth. People like Richard Branson have become who they are by surrounding themselves with the right people. Entrepreneurs need to be good at assessing their own weaknesses, so they can create a team to provide strength in these weak areas. A strong team can achieve far more than any one individual, but it is important that every member of this unit is allowed to shine.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big
The Super Bowl is a huge spectacular that is packed full of ‘wow’ moment. Even people who know nothing about football can appreciate that something important is taking place. The organizers of this event are not afraid to ‘go big’ with almost every aspect of the show – they know the effort is going to be worth it because spectators are going to remember it as a truly remarkable occasion.
A common mistake that businesses make is to launch a new product or service without creating enough excitement first of all. It can be almost like they are embarrassed about bothering customers with this new innovation. This means a wasted opportunity. The secret to a successful product launch is to go big and make sure that customers go away thinking ‘wow’.
Stay Hungry for Success
No team has ever won the Super Bowl because of the success they had in the past. In order to do well in this event, each player needs to be hungry and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. What happened in the past doesn’t matter – it is all about the performance on the day.
There are plenty of examples of businesses that achieved amazing success but then lost whatever it was that made them great in the first place. This happens because instead of being hungry for success, the team feels entitled to it – they stop doing the things that made them successful. Thriving in business is not about what happened yesterday but instead a constant hunger to do better and be better.
Be the Perfect Role Model for Your Team
The players who walk out to play in the Super Bowl are under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform well. If they were to allow this stress to infect their thinking, it could prove disastrous on the field. It is not good enough for the coach to tell the players to be calm – it is vital to lead by example. The coach is able to calm everyone down by being a perfect example of calm.
The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to management isn’t very effective. It means that members of the team feel like they are being asked to do things that are unreasonable. This is why the most effective managers would never ask other people to do anything they would not be willing to do themselves.
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