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Lesson 2: Three reasons why you should look at your company like a soccer team

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Here's a confession, I am a sports enthusiast. My wife often wonders how I can sit and watch sports matches of teams I don’t support. One such sport I’ve immensely enjoyed over my years has been soccer. Interestingly enough, I’ve come to learn that the way soccer teams are assembled, trained, and perform on the field is very similar to how I see businesses formed, established, and functioning. This first lesson is dedicated to all my fellow soccer supporters who happen to be entrepreneurs. Here are three reasons why I believe you should look at your company, like a soccer team.

1. Business is a game of vision and strategy

We often create outlandish pie-in-the-sky visions for our businesses and never actually shoot for them. If your organization aimed to be the soccer champions of the world 4 out of every 5 seasons, you would strategically aim to recruit the right players and staff to ensure the appropriate synergy in the locker room. Creating the proper environment for players to join your club is imperative. When you look at your business with this perspective in mind, you will begin to focus on and attract the expertise that will establish your organization.

2. Your frontline staff are your players on the pitch

If you take good care of your players and work at ensuring that each player understands their roles, you are bound to be successful. Each player has a position; each position affects the other’s function. If the defense is not communicating with the midfield and the midfield is not feeding the attackers, best believe you’re in for trouble. This analogy illustrates the reality of the business world. Where your staff doesn’t feel taken care of, they either become negligent or move on. How does taking care of them look? Intentionally checking in on them and identifying what motivates them related to the vision and mission of the organization is a good start. It doesn’t stop there; making sure that they know their role and how it ties to the organization’s objectives is a piece of the puzzle that is often talked about but never applied. Senior leadership uses buzz words but doesn’t assess how effective their communication is throughout the organization. If the pitch is your marketplace and the players are your staff, you had better get to work on the game plan to win the game.

Where your staff doesn’t feel taken care of, they either become negligent or move on.

3. Your League rivals are your market competitors

Competition is vital to the general success of any organization. Why? Quite frankly, where there’s no competition, there’s bound to be complacency. For all the clubs that compete for that top spot, few understand that the battle is won by how well you know the value of competition. When pursuing that top spot in your market, you have got to look at what your competitors are doing and use that as fuel to improve continuously. Gone are the days of doing business with a siloed mindset where what you provide in the form of products and services is guaranteed by the neighborhood your business operates. The internet has turned that perspective on its head because now you’re dealing with a company thousands of miles away, engaging your neighbors with better offers. Your league rivals have changed, and you’ve got to move forward with that in mind.

Your success on the field is driven by how well you paint the picture behind the scenes. Your company's culture is noticeable by the deep desire shown when it matters most -bringing home the victory. How well does your team know your vision? How well are they handling the frontline? What is it that your competitors are doing right that you need to fix? Well, in the same way, soccer teams win back-to-back championships so too can your business become the market leader. It's your choice.

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