As a Head Coach, Bill Belichick’s greatness comes from the fact that he builds his systems around the strengths and weaknesses of his roster and it led him to 4 Super Bowl Championships. This is good coaching in the purest form; playing to the strengths of one’s personnel.
It may not be something that often crosses your mind, but football coaches and small business owners have a lot in common. Both professions require leadership, dedication, commitment and a strong work ethic in order to succeed.
There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” — Bill Belichick
Just like football coaches, as a small business owner or a Sales Manager; you must take on many roles to ensure everybody is working together as a team to achieve important goals and for operations to run smoothly. Here are a few other ways football coaches and small business owners play a similar game.
To prepare for a football game, coaches research opponents, develop game plans and determine the best lineup of players who will help the team win. Similarly, when starting a small business, entrepreneurs conduct market research to understand the competition and the key economic conditions and indicators. Entrepreneurs also build a business plan, which sets the strategic framework for the organization and maps out the path forward. In addition, small business owners find top talent who will help them execute the plan and beat the competition.
During the game
Over the course of a game, head coaches make adjustments regularly, shifting tactics to put their team in position to score and win. They consult with assistant coaches to get advice on what plays they should run. Entrepreneurs and Sales Managers also make strategic moves and adjust to constantly changing market forces and customer demands.
Coaches typically deliver inspiring halftime speeches that motivate players to give their all and function as a team. Entrepreneurs and Managers should also motivate their employees by providing benefit programs and encouraging their career growth through coaching and motivational curriculum, that helps to strengthen their teams’ skills. Having a motivational speaker at your monthly or quarterly sales meetings also adds a charge to your team, similar to the Half Time inspirational speeches of great coaches.
Following a game, coaches review footage to analyze which plays and strategies did or did not work and what improvements the team can make to defeat the next opponent. At the end of each day or period of performance, entrepreneurs crunch numbers to determine how well the business performed and identify ways to boost profits, cut costs and improve customer service.
At your Monday Morning sales meetings, Sales Managers should be doing the same thing. They should be analyzing which plays resulted in closed sales and which plays didn’t. They should develop strategies and best practices from reviewing the week’s plays. Only then can they become the Tom Brady of management. They will know the strengths and weaknesses of not only their team members but of the competition. They will know if the competition has a tendency to lead with price or service. They could then quarterback their team to run plays that would leave the competition behind or looking in the wrong direction.