What are You Doing to Move the Chains?


Football is a game of yards.

Talent is scouted out and recruited. It’s not just about creating an army of superstars but also achieving a balancing act of strength and weakness. Teamwork is essential. Individuals must come together and function like gears in a machine to achieve the goal. If even one part is out of sync, the best-laid strategy will break down quickly. No single player – no matter how skilled – can advance without the cooperation and support of the other 10 men on the gridiron. Discipline is the mantra of the team. The fundamentals are never taken for granted. They are practiced and reinforced and sharpened with rhythmic and unfailing consistency. The hard work of training and conditioning is done in blistering heat, driving rain and freezing cold. Film is studied. Strategy is debated, refined, challenged and retooled. Tactics are meticulously planned and plotted in playbooks. The competition is scrutinized to identify advantages and vulnerabilities. All of these acts are performed in the quest to gain yards, because those yards add up to wins, and victories add up to championships.

Business is a game of yards, too.

These yards aren’t measured by hashmarks on a field but by the trust cultivated in your customers and your community. Just like in football, it’s up to you to create opportunities to advance down the field. It starts with making sure you have the right players on the field – ones who not only have the skill set needed to execute the plays but the vision to see the field and react to unforeseen challenges when necessary. Teamwork is not just a warm-and-fuzzy HR concept but a critical element of success. Your employees must believe in their stake in the ultimate goal and take full ownership of executing their routes without fail to minimize the chances of blatant mistakes and errors that result in costly setbacks. Yards must be earned one at a time through the demonstration of good values, honest communication and commitment to service.Discipline can never be abandoned. The process of building trust is challenging and never-ending. It can’t be accomplished by writing a check or putting up an empty facade. These yards must be earned one at a time through the authentic demonstration of good values, honest communication and commitment to serving your customers and their needs. Vigilance to strategy must be a constant. When innovation is absent, when tactics do not evolve, when shortcuts are taken, the cost is missed opportunities and lost yardage while your competitors advance on your goal. All of these acts must be performed to gain trust, because that trust yields a stronger community around your brand, and a growing community paves the way to owning your market. Find the right talent, cultivate good internal synergy, remain vigilant in serving your tribe and refine and sharpen your approach, and you’ll create opportunities to grow your business. By contrast, if you allow team spirit to fall by the wayside, become complacent, stick only with old, familiar marketing tactics and fail to lead your tribe, you’ll be watching your competitors sail across the goal line while you scramble to catch up.