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Running a successful business is much like running a successful football team. What are the common characteristics between successful football teams and successful business teams?
1. A true "team" must be formed initially. All members must share a full commitment to excellence in all they do. This is a horizontal must in any organization—across the board, from janitors to owners.
2. The right person must be in the right position throughout the organization. The team is only as strong as the weakest link. Everyone must be experienced and excel at what they do.
3. Marketing should be considered at all times to be a necessary position. It is usually the first place cutbacks are made; it should be the last. Make sure you have a knowledgeable and creative director of marketing who is also budget-conscious.
4. The business of managing success in football involves organizational charts, employee handbooks, contracts, and other written, visual, and structural documents. Team members must know and understand what is expected of them and be willing to play by those rules in exchange for their compensation. Similarly, teammates must know what to expect from each other.
5. Individuals and departments have to huddle just as the team does before implementing a play. Imagine if the wide receiver had no clue where the quarterback was going to throw the ball: chaos on the playing field. The same holds true in business, where the team that huddles together, stays together.
6. Information sharing can also be accomplished through meetings, e-mails (which create a wonderful paper trail), "water cooler" conversations, and weekly written e-mail reports by departments (also known as accountability) that are shared zealously among all of an organization’s personnel.
Finally, to complete the circle: When the team wins, everyone on it must win, too. In football, it might be Super Bowl rings for all. In business, it should be some form of profit-sharing, perks, or other financial reward.
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