Are the same requirements required to win in sports as they are in business? Absolutely!
I was inspired to write this after Oracle Team USA won one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. CBS news reported, “Oracle Team USA caps stunning comeback to win America’s Cup.” An all but defeated team a week ago, Oracle came back from a 7-point deficit to win 9-8.
One can’t help but get excited for a come-from-behind victory, as America has always favored and liked the underdog.
As Americans, quitters we are not — and we relish the sweet smell of victory, especially when we’ve been written off or forgotten.
This brings me to my original comparison of assessing victory and winning in sports to winning in business. I see many similarities. Many of the same things have to occur and take place in both instances.
One must have clear leadership, with a strong vision and will to win. One must act decisively and not be afraid to take risks. There must be clear, defined goals and contingencies in place when things don’t go quite right. But most of all, you need to build and nurture great teams. I have always been a firm believer that nothing great gets accomplished by single individuals with a lone vision. Great teams just don’t happen or appear overnight. They are the results of careful planning, clear execution, and dedicated persistence and the will to win even when there are dark moments.
The key to putting great teams in place is putting a leader in place who can find great people who can work seamlessly together, speak differences effectively, shore up weakness where needed but always, in the end, find a way to come together for the good of the team.
Whether you are deploying a large scale software implementation project, building an A+ sales team or engaged in building a start-up, the same basic blocking and tackling principles apply to business as they do in sports. I can attest, the successful projects I have had the good fortune to be involved in have always exhibited these same characteristics seen in great sports teams.
So, when it comes time for you to rise to the occasion, when you’ve been tasked with a big project at work, don’t forget to use some of the best practices and methods used by some of the best sports teams in the world.