Today is the big day, Super Bowl XLV. Folks will be donning green and gold or gold and black. Friends will gather around TV sets across the country gobbling up things they know that should not eat and for this one day of the year the DVR is set not to skip the commercials, but to catch them for instant replay.
Teams have sweated and toiled. Investing millions for their time in the global spotlight.
Closed door meetings, strategy sessions, the big chase, and surprising twists… all come together on Super Bowl Sunday.
Oh yeah, there is a football game too.
In business, every day is Game Day.
Most of us will never field a team in the world’s most famous grid iron match up or take the leap to bet around $3 million for a 30 second spot in its commercials although GoDaddy’s Bob Parsons will gleefully tell you what they have done for his team’s business.
As entrepreneurs, investors, leaders or teammates, success in the BIG game means that every day is game day. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you watch from the stands or from the couch…
It starts with a coin toss – it does not end there.
Success always has en element of luck to it. Good luck may move you forward faster just as bad luck might slow you down. But being lucky early does not ensure success. Here is a bit of Super Bowl Trivia:
The team that has won the coin toss is 19-22 all time in the Super Bowl and has lost the past 4 straight and 9 of the last 11. (source)
To win in the big game you need a great team
Don’t kid yourself. The team with strong players, that plays well together has a definite advantage. Great teams are balanced. In football you can have a great quarterback, but if you have no offensive line it is unlikely that you will spend a lot of time in the end zone and if your defense is weak, the other team will. Successful teams have the right mix to do the whole job, not just one or two super stars intent on carrying the day.
Give the fans something to talk about.
Winning the big game is about the experience. In football it is the thrill of the win, the roar of the crowd and the play that fans will talk about for years to come. In business it is the achievement of goals inside your company, the praise of customers when you deliver on your promises, and the great results you deliver to your employees, customers, investors, and partners that keep you ahead in the game.
Innovation = Improvement
Don’t confuse flash and showmanship with innovation. The victory dance in the end zone is not nearly as important as the fact that you got there and need to get there again to win. Commercials are entertaining at the break, but the real win will be measured when customers walk through your door or visit your website to buy your products and services. A bit of flash may bring them in once, but products and services that are new, different, and create value for the customer are what will bring them back again and again.
Success is not built on just one game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers are playing in Super Bowl XLV because they won a series of games and more importantly they won when it counted. Winning at the right time matters, just ask the Jets and the Bears.
Football is more that a game, it’s a big business. And winning in the world of business is a game where the points are measured in value created. Take a look at this ranking by Forbes of the most valuable NFL Teams. You’ll need to keep searching all the way down to #14 for Green Bay and #17 to find the stats for the Steelers. Sustained value is a combination of smart investments, the right resources plus a strong team in the front office, on the bench and on the field that creates long-term, sustainable value together. Interestingly, the Redskins have one of the best track records for value creation in recent years yet they have LOST 55% of the games they played on the field. It’s not just about winning under the lights, everything matters.
So sit back and enjoy the game…
The Super Bowl is an American tradition. You may watch it for the game, for the commercials, or simply as a way to spend time with family and friends. But as you dig into that pile of chicken wings, tray of nachos or bowl of chili, keep a look out for the big game changers. You might have something new to talk about at the office come Monday morning when all the “quarterbacks” come out.
So place your bets, rally your team, and enjoy the game. It’s almost time for the coin toss whether the Big Game starts at 6:30pm ET on FOX or come Monday morning when you and your team take the field once again.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…