Business much like team sports

When the game is over, it really is over - in business, as in sports

I love football and it has been a particularly good week from a football perspective.

Last week, the Grey Cup was in Nanaimo with Travis Lulay Paul Mcallum and Sunday was wall to wall Superbowl; the biggest and most viewed sports event on this continent.

So what does that have to to do with business or more particularly the chamber?

For me personally being active in team sports, first football and for the past 30 years playing rugby has provided me with the best training in life skills and business skills. Learning the importance of teamwork, patience and understanding how and when to take advantage of opportunities when they come along.

Both rugby and football are the ultimate in team sports where each team member has a specific responsibility and there is trust among teammates that each team member will do their job. Team responsibility in business is so crucial.

Business owners and managers must understand that they need to do what they are good at and find others to do the tasks they do not excel at.

Sports teams set long term goals and establish specific strategies to achieve those goals and sports teams are the ultimate training ground for the development of strong and effective leaders.

Sports, as in business, are focused on success; where the goal is always in sight and the subject of total focus.

Part of this focus is the need to place a heavy priority on training and being fit. Remember there is a strong correlation between a healthy mind and a healthy body.

The lifelong relationships I have developed through sport are as strong and effective as the positive relationships I have developed in business. The understanding that those relationships are stronger than victory or defeat/success or failure and that when the game is over the game is over. It carries over to the competitive nature of business. It is never personal and it should never get in the way of those positive relationships that make communities strong.

One last but critical comparison, sport teams and business require succession planning to prepare  for that time when it comes that individuals be they teammates, staff or owners move on. Human Resources are the most important resources and they have to be respected and there must be a plan in place to ensure that changes don’t interrupt the established goals and strategies.

I am sure sports will always be a part of my life as a player and a spectator and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned on the playing field and how they have translated to the rest of my life. This week has been particularly good and a reminder of those lessons.











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