3 Lessons in Teamwork Small Business Owners Can Take from the Superbowl

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This Sunday, America came together to watch the Superbowl, this year hosted in New York with the titular game played in New Jersey. However, those watching who anticipated an evenly matched game came away wondering at how the Seahawks seemingly effortlessly dismantled the Broncos, despite quarterback Peyton Manning being widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. How the team that prided itself on scoring and coordination was reduced to a single touchdown and 2 point conversion for the entire game is tough to say, but in the end it can be agreed that the tight defensive game of the Seahawks was too much for any convincing response from Denver.

There is a lesson to be learned here for small business owners. Like a football team, a small business is made up of specialized team members who work together in the interest of advancing a common goal; in this case the success of their enterprise. The better that a small business’s team is able to function in unison, the more strongly the cumulative effects of their efforts will be. Teamwork is an essential quality that should be promoted as an important value in any organization that relies on multiple members coordinating. Here are some lessons in teamwork that can be taken away from the big game.

A star player can’t make up for a breakdown in communication. One of the most dramatic aspects of the game was the inability of Broncos QB Manning to demonstrate his talent on the field, as time and time again Seahawk defense prevented him from picking out good opportunities. Within a small business, managers are also faced with time sensitive decisions and sudden changes that require decisive action. A single great manager can lead a team, but only if that team is able to set up that leader with the information and support they require to make the best possible decisions. Putting a great employee in charge of a team that has communication issues, you need  strengthen their teamwork and clarify their goals, otherwise, even with a strong leader projects can go awry.

Prepare for the competition that you will face, and know how your styles compare. Within your small business you can do a lot to prepare your employees and enable them to be better at their jobs, but you must also turn your attention outwards in order to be successful. The competition that you face should also inform your strategy, and understanding the market that you are competing in is essential to success. Within any given industry, businesses will face competition from companies at different levels of growth as well as be exposed to potential partnerships with differing terms and advantages. Know the lay of the land through market research and by keeping up to date on industry news through trade publications and Google Alerts as well as through physical networking venues. In this way, you can adapt your strategies and avoid being surprised by your competitors.

Don’t allow hiccups to break your confidence. Before passing the point of no return in the game, there was reason to believe that the Broncos could have turned things around. However, what was clear was a lack of confidence, perhaps stemming from the first snap that sent Denver scrambling. Even a glaring issue within a football game or within a small business loans an opportunity to rally, as long as a team is able to keep their confidence up and not allow themselves to feel defeated. While certain issues can represent major stumbling blocks for small business owners, their role as leaders within their organizations dictates that they learn from their failures and then move on. Dwelling on where things went wrong before you are out of the woods takes important focus off of how to improve and move forwards, which can severely impede your team’s ability to recover. When things are grim within your small business, try to step outside of your disappointment in order to take a clearheaded look at what can be done to make things better.

Photo Credit to Philip Robertson on Flickr

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