Posts Tagged ‘field’

Fanatical Fans

November 16, 2009

Last week I was at the Chicago Bears/49ers game at Candlestick Park. I had a pre-game field pass for this particular game and it gave me an entirely different vantage point from which to look at the fans in the stands.

It started me thinking about what makes sports fans all over the country holler till they’re hoarse, paint their faces in an array of colors, sit in snow and rain for hours to watch games, spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars for tickets, and anxiously hold out footballs, jerseys, and other paraphernalia to be signed by their favorite players.

I also thought about what has made me a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan and the reason I have no less than 10 Cowboys t-shirts, plus jerseys, jamies, sweatshirts, ticket stubs, signed hats from training camps, and even earrings.

Ponder how the following sports fan traits relate to your business success:

1. Loyalty to a group – People have the need to feel like they belong. They need connectivity. Fair weather fans come and go but loyal fans attend games, buy season tickets, purchase apparel, and follow the team on television and on the Internet. They’re proactive in supporting their team.

Think about what loyalty means to you in your business. Are you loyal to your vendors, your clients, and your networking circle? In balancing work and play, are you a loyal friend? A loyal spouse? Are you loyal to your own journey of success?

2. Observing Examples of Excellence – I believe another reason we see fanatical fans is that they realize in a deep way, the effort, guts, determination and sheer hard work it takes to play and excel in their sport. It’s not all glitz and glitter; there’s constant preparation, both mental and physical; it’s moving beyond average into greatness with every single decision.

Think about examples of excellence you’ve observed from people in your own sphere of business and personal relationships. Who has spurred you onward to your own pursuit of greatness? Who has inspired you to move past your challenges and to not allow them to penalize your own determination? Have you thanked them lately for being part of your team?

3. Because of the “great ones” who have gone before – When I think of great ones, I tend to think of the legendary coaches of times past like Tom Landry, George Halas, and Vince Lombardi. Of course, there are players who will forever be etched in my memory for their consistent excellence on the field; players like Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice.

Think about the great business and entrepreneurial mentors of times past as well as current ones. Who can you “adopt” as a personal mentor, whether through books, DVD’s, e-newsletters, or seminars? Whose example can you follow to take your own business success to the next level? Who can YOU be an example to?

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The Uniform

September 12, 2009

How do you dress for work?

If you’re a college or pro football player, you wear protection from head to toe. For safety. To avoid injury to important parts. To cushion the falls.

As entrepreneurs, we don’t think much about that in our daily business lives but maybe we should. Let’s take a look at the various elements of a football players’ uniform to see if we can’t relate it to our own internal and external attire.

Helmet & Facemask

The helmet is obviously meant to protect the head against concussions. The facemask acts as a rolling bar for the player’s face to protect against pokes and hits and damage from falling on his face.

My guess is that you don’t wear a helmet during your workday. You’d look pretty ridiculous if you did and the nice people in the white coats would probably take you away.

But, what about starting your day with meditation, prayer, positive thoughts, a thankful spirit, and reading the Bible or other devotional book?

Doing those things on a daily basis protects your mind from potential injury from circumstances or various outside influences that come your way on a daily basis. It might even cushion you from mental and emotional falls.

Shoulder Pads, Hip Pads, Knee Pads, Flak Jackets

Again, all meant to protect different body parts. Football is a game about the power of muscle, not the ability of the body to absorb everything.

Do you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Is that what your shoulders were meant for?

Do the pressures of your business keep you up at night? What purpose does that serve?

Are you chained to your desk for long periods? Are your muscles so tight that you groan when you get up to take a break? Your body was not designed to be in a frozen position for long periods of time.

Do you take regular breaks during your work day to revive and restore your mind and body? Protect yourself from wear and tear…nobody else will do that for you.

Have you taken the time to strengthen the power of your own muscles with regular exercise, strength or weight training and cardio? If not, start today.

It’s all about the Shoes

Players wear different types of shoes for different playing surfaces. Depending on the playing surface and condition of the surface, longer or shorter cleats are worn. The bottom line is that cleats give players better traction in varying field conditions.

As an entrepreneur, have you adjusted your approach to clients, depending on the circumstance?

Some clients are firm; I call these ½” cleat clients – you need to be business-like, no-nonsense, and to the point.

Other clients are just average; 5/8” cleat clients – you can give a little leeway with your terms and be a wee more relaxed with communication.

Still others are mushy (touchy, feely, emotionally-charged); ¾” cleat clients – you’ll need to balance that out with some bottom-line statements, a firm stance, and maybe a little humor.

Then there are the 1” cleat clients – they are messy and muddy (temperamental and demanding) and cause miserable playing conditions. You’ll have to remain strong in your stance, not slip in their mud with any verbal giveaways, and not be afraid to take them out of your game.

Outer Wear – Jersey, Pants, and Socks

These are the outer clothes that players wear on the field. Many specific rules are linked to a players’ uniform but all for a reason. They don’t call it a uniform for nothin’. The uniform is governed closely by the NFL. If violations occur, the player is fined.

All those rules make me glad I can wear any old thing while I’m working at my desk at home. However, when I’m meeting with clients, some rules apply.

When you have a client meeting, do you show up, dressed for success, with a professional demeanor? Hair groomed? Nice aroma? Clean, pressed clothes? Minty breath? Notepad and pen ready to work?

All these seem like a no-brainer but I’ve heard horror stories about client meetings with vendors showing up, looking like they just rustled themselves out of bed. I’ve also heard about entrepreneurial folk answering their phones with the first phrase being, “Hey, I’m stepping out of the shower, can I call you back in a sec?” Oh my, these things ought not to be people.

If you’re meeting with a client in a casual setting…sure, ditch the suit and tie and go business casual. Depending on the client, dress the part…wear your “uniform” to the game. Don’t penalize your credibility for your appearance. Show your client you’re on his team all the way.

I’ll ask you again…How do you dress for work? Make sure your internal attire…your mental attitude, your emotional well-being…is in check. Also make sure your outer attire…your appearance for clients…is fit for the occasion.

Hurray! Football season is here! See ya’ll on the field.

Mixing it Up on the Playing Field

July 11, 2009

A basic fact about football is that an 11-inch long ball bounces funny. How does a coaching staff develop a strategy that compensates for an odd-shaped ball that bounces funny? Depends on the coaching staff. Some like to run, some like to pass, some like to mix it up.

Teams that can both run and pass are the most successful. Teams that can play effectively in icy weather as well as scorching weather will have a better chance at victory. Teams who have superb running games in cold weather will most likely dominate, just as teams who play in domes on artificial turf will have an edge with faster players. Of course, it also depends greatly on the talent of the team. Combinations are important: Consider the former combined talent of Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Brett Farve and Dorsey Levens, Joe Montana and Roger Craig.

The best way to plan a game strategy is first to know the “personality” of your opponent, both strengths and weaknesses, and then for the offensive line to ask the question: What do we do best, run or pass? After all, those are your only choices to move down the field, no matter what your strategy.

On the business field we must ask ourselves what our strategy is on a daily basis. We need to know as much as possible about our opponent (competition) and how a strong game plan can dominate our arena.

Ask yourself the following questions to analyze your game and make it the best it can be.

What do I do best?

Am I focusing on those things?

Are you reading industry-specific playbooks to further your field knowledge and motivational books to keep you and your team going?

Do you use combined talent with those you partner with?

Do you mix it up on your playing field by choosing a combination of running and passing strategies (creative problem-solving) outside the box?

Do you conduct business on a mundane and predictable basis?

The truth is: Life bounces funny. There’s never just one way to accomplish a task or solve a problem. Start using a run/pass game to mix it up on your playing field and I bet you’ll find the spark you need to win daily success.

Interception

June 11, 2009

According to Wikipedia, “an interception is a very specialized move that occurs when a quarterback’s pass is caught by a player on the opposing team. This leads to an immediate change of possession during the play: the defender who caught the ball immediately assumes the role of the offense and attempts to move the ball as far towards the opposing goal as possible. Following the stoppage of play, if the interceptor retained possession of the ball, their team takes over possession at the spot where he was downed.”

According to the player who got intercepted, it’s simply a pick. An interception can change the course and momentum of the game.

In love, life and work, we all get intercepted on occasion. An opponent snatches the ball in mid air. Opponents can range from financial setbacks, loss of health, a car accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one or even cruel, insensitive words from someone you thought was your friend. It can also be your own self – sometimes we are our own worst enemy – and we are picked by self-doubt or the sum of poor choices.

When NFL players are picked off, you’ll typically see a few different reactions. 1) Mad; mad at themselves for allowing it to happen or mad at a receiver for not being at the right place at the right time, 2) Dejected; realizing their failure to do the job properly, or 3)Gets back up and continues the game with strength and style. Brett Favre is a great example of this.

What have you been intercepted by?

What has caused you to lose your grip?

Getting mad provides a temporary adrenaline rush but does it accomplish anything useful? Does it make the opponent go away? NO. The opponent still has the ball. Getting dejected drains you of precious energy and just as with getting mad, it does not accomplish any purpose.

Will you choose to remain mad or dejected or will you get back up and continue the game of life with strength and style? We can do what we can to protect ourselves from some interceptions but not all. Life happens and each and every event is part of our own unique story.

If we don’t learn from our life events, then that’s all they are…events. If we learn to press forward with strength and style, a purpose has been accomplished in our life; we’ve learned, we’ve matured, we’re internally stronger.

Our interceptions might change the course of our life or drastically change our momentum. How we choose to react is our CHOICE.

How will you react to your interceptions?