We all have a sports team that we love to support and we secretly wish we could have a chance to suit up in the team colors and hit the field. But what makes us love that team so much? It’s the organizational structure, the players, the location of the team, the perseverance, and the traditions of the team that we love. So then if we all love to sit down and watch the strategy of our favorites teams play out, why don’t we bring those strategies to work on Monday morning? There are numerous parallels between your favorite sports team and successful businesses and you should start to bring these similarities into your own business.
Find the right captain.
Great leadership is knowing when to lead and when to follow. In sport, a captain doesn’t lead all the time; they lead when needed. It’s the same in business. A CEO does not need to make all the decisions. During times of uncertainty they should draw on the knowledge and expertise of those around them. There needs to be lower levels of authority close to the CEO to help make decisions when needed.
Different positions have different goals.
Goalkeepers and forwards have opposite goals, and that’s what makes the team work. The two positions work separately towards their individual goals, which ultimately help the team reach their overall goal. It is similar in business. While there are some departments that need to be closely linked and in good communication, there are some departments who don’t really need to work together all that much. Effectively optimizing communication of necessary connections keeps the team moving in the right direction.
The best players are those who can adapt.
Change is inevitable on the field and in the office, and you need to know how to maximize your chances during times of change. If the game plan is not working, adjust it. The greatest players are those who can identify the problem in the play, come up with a solution to the problem, and then carry out the new play to score the goal. It’s the same in the office; an organizational restructure may be necessary in order to close the deal. Be flexible and adapt to the circumstances.
Put your players in the right positions.
Don’t put your fastest athlete in goalie gloves. Be smart about where you place your employees. In order to ensure that you are maximizing the skills of your employees you need to put them in the right departments. An occasional reassessment and further development of employees’ skills may be necessary to make sure employees have the ability to fulfill their responsibilities.
These are just a few of the ways we can use the experience of sports teams to help us in the business world. Although the arenas may be different, never underestimate the parallels between sport and business. Taking some of these strategies into your office will undoubtedly help you propel your business into the next league.