Every year at this time, as the football season opens, I have the same recurring thought. And that is, we should run business like the game of football. I mean, how great would the professional world be if only the genuinely talented players made the "team" and only the best companies "won?" Where everyone had to work as hard as individuals as they did collectively? Where there is a direct correlation between exertion, talent, hard work, performance and winning? And where everyone on the team plows through obstacles and/or jumps back to their feet and into the game if they get knocked down? It makes for the greatest work analogy. Here's why I love it:
• Football manages performance to get results: While it is not okay to blow a play, there is nothing wrong with being told you messed up. The players don't take feedback personally. Instead, they incorporate it into their performance so they don't make the same mistake again—the mark of a true professional.
• Football gets the most out of its players: It's fine to be emotional. No one judges the players for their reactions and feelings (within reason). No one cares, as long as they play and they play well. This way the focus remains on the game and its objectives not on personal feelings and drama.
So why not borrow from football? Its organizational structure and the way it manages teams and performance could go a long way in Corporate America.
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