Football and Business

September 29, 2020

Against all odds, football is back. While it’s an exciting escape from an unusual year, there’s also much that business can learn from the game.

Here are four lessons business leaders can learn from football

Playbook’s silver lining

Everyone in football is issued a playbook. Does your business have clearly defined Xs and Os? Your business will be more efficient and effective when all team members follow processes proven to bring winning results. Additionally, defined systems help your business continue without incident when a team member takes PTO or leaves for other opportunities.

Practice like a champion

Most football teams prepare five days for every three hours on the field. For business leaders, that translates to quality preparation before a meeting or presentation. Have you created an agenda? Are you trained on conference room technology? Did you debrief after your event or meeting? Learn from mistakes during practice in order to play a perfect game.

Players play – Coaches coach

In the National Football League (NFL), many players eventually become coaches, but it’s rare to see a coach who’s also a player. The same should be true in your business. Many leaders, especially new managers, step in to correct small jobs rather than coaching team members. It may seem easier and more efficient to make that quick fix but teaching and coaching will build skills and confidence long-term.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

In football, the rules are refined and defined every season. They are made very clear as are the results (in wins and losses). Has your company’s vision been made clear? Do team members know where the business is going? Do they know how their performance is being evaluated? Share critical information with your team, including the strategic plan, short- and long-term goals, what winning will look like, how score will be kept (evaluations) and the scorecard (financials).

For me, when I played, it was all about practice, practice, practice….hustle, hustle, hustle…You don’t win National Championships without that! The lessons I learned playing at the University of Mt. Union have stuck with me, and I am thankful every day for that time of my life. Go Raiders!


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Monique McGuire
11 days ago

This is fabulous information! I have always compared business to sports because the fundamentals learned from the way coaches and teams operate are so valuable!

Kelly Carter
19 days ago

Love this! I’m a huge football fan. Unfortunately, my hometeam (Detroit Lions) Is missing some of the lessons. LOL Nonetheless, these are great lessons to put in practice. I’m field ready!