I won’t pretend to be a football expert. In fact, I’m usually one of those people who only watches for the funny commercials and half-time entertainment.
This year, I tuned into the big game hoping for some ridiculous advertisement to tear apart for the company blog – and I couldn’t help but realize that this game was a microcosm of life and business.
Throughout human history, every great achievement has been the result of a tremendous amount of effort behind the scenes. Sunday’s game can be used as a metaphor to teach us how to achieve greatness in our own lives.
The power of perseverance
Before this year, when most people thought of a Super Bowl-winning team, the Kansas City Chiefs wouldn’t have come to mind. In fact, the Chiefs hadn’t been to a Super Bowl in fifty years.
Similarly, the Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid, was by no means an overnight success. He’s been coaching in the NFL for decades. And though he is the 6th most successful coach in history – with 222 total career wins – Reid had never won a Super Bowl.
It’s a common misconception that successful athletes and entrepreneurs are born with an innate ability to succeed. That their talents far exceed the ordinary, and that the rest of us are just mere mortals among them.
The Chiefs’ victory shows us that greatness is the result of deliberate practice, relentless pursuit, and never-give-up grit. Andy Reid and his team earned their victory with their painstaking work ethic.
We can all take a page from the Kansas City Chiefs’ perseverance playbook; realizing that success doesn’t happen by accident. With that in mind, what are you doing today to achieve the results you want tomorrow?
Stronger as a team
Everyone can’t stop talking about Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. But does anyone remember that it was Travis Kelce who scored the touchdown that brought them back into the game?
You can hire a quarterback who can pass with strength and precision that will impress the likes of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning – but if you don’t have the right people in place to protect your quarterback, complete your passes, and run for a touchdown – you won’t make it far.
Football – like business – is a team effort.
Strong leadership is important, but people strategies and cohesion among teams are mission-critical in business. Organizations and teams need to be structured strategically – with role definition, mentorship programs, and a focus on training and development.
Practice, practice, practice!
In football, life, business, and literally anything else you can think of – you get out what you put in. Patrick Mahomes may be younger than the average all-star; and at 24, he is the youngest starting quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.
Yes, Mahomes is super-talented. But his talent isn’t the only reason for his success. It’s been documented that Mahomes practices extremely difficult passes during regular training sessions.
It’s only after Mahomes and his receivers have perfected their improbable passes through repetition that the team has the confidence to attempt them in an actual game.
When you see a co-worker effortlessly navigate a challenging client-call, or pitch an idea to a table full of high-level execs without breaking a sweat, rest assured that a tremendous amount of preparation was put into that performance.
This concept rings true in all areas of life – More practice makes for better results.
It’s not over till it’s over
It’s the fourth quarter. There’s 4 minutes and 36 seconds left on the clock, and the 49ers are up 20 to 10. For most Kansas City fans, defeat is imminent. The announcer states that the Chiefs have had a tough night tonight. And by most accounts, he’s correct.
This is where most teams would have given up hope. Not the Chiefs.
Imagine: It’s the third month of Q4 and you’re 10 million away from your revenue goal. You could admit defeat and leave early for your Christmas vacation. “Oh well, we tried, let’s go home.”
The Chiefs would have worked around the clock while their competitors ate Christmas cookies and sipped hot cocoa, eventually closing the 15-million-dollar deal that their competitors screwed up when they got complacent.
In football, like in business, it’s not over till it’s over.
The game is over, and the stadium has emptied out. The die-hard fans have gone home and are headed back to work, where they will go back to the monotony of daily tasks.
But if we can take one thing away from this year’s Super Bowl, it needs to be that we all have the ability to write our own futures.