Five Small Business Takeaways from the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eaglesby Dan Roberts on 08/06/18
With NFL training camps underway, I took the opportunity to re-watch Super Bowl 52 (for the 23rd time) this past weekend. As a long suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan, it was with great joy that I was able to watch them finally bring the big trophy home. Winning is fun, and this championship will certainly help me get through any bad seasons that might be ahead. (Well, that, and healthy dose of “Boos” should they be warranted.) But, watching this team was fun for so many reasons more.
Now as a small business consultant, I couldn’t help but admire the job General Manager Howie Roseman and Head Coach Doug Pederson did, along with a lot of the various coaches and players. Now that I have come down from the euphoria of winning (sort of; I’m still watching replays of the game), I have had a chance to really think about how special the season was.
As we gear up for a new season, here are five takeaways from the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles organization that small businesses should note:
1. It will be harder than you think
The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles is really a testament to the idea that we should plan on adversity. Think about it: NFL Teams have 11 starters on offense and defense, along with 2-3 key players on Special Teams for a total of 25 key players. The Eagles lost 8 of their best players due to injury, including starting QB Carson Wentz who was having a MVP-caliber year … that’s a whopping 32% of top-level production. The team never missed a beat when a teammate was injured. They just kept winning.
Could your small business survive if one-third of your best producers left for a new job? Start planning for adversity now, and it will be easier to contend with when the time comes. Cross-train employees, build a solid cash reserve and communicate to your team that adversity will happen, and together, you will overcome it.
2. Surround yourself with smart people
One of the best moves this team made when they hired Doug Pederson two years ago was to surround him with two coordinators who are smart enough to be head coaches. They hired a former Head Coach, Jim Schwartz, to run the Defense; and they hired Frank Reich, whom many considered a Head Coach-caliber mind, to help run the offense. Both coordinators were well-respected, smart coaches. Due to the Eagles success this year, Reich was hired by another NFL team to become their head coach this year.
Don’t be afraid to hire smart people. If they have a skill set you don’t, why wouldn’t you want to have the smartest person you can get?
3. Always look to improve
The Eagles had a better than expected run-game in 2017, with a triumvirate of players contributing despite an injury to All-Pro RB Darren Sproles. Yet the Eagles did something rarely seen in the NFL during the regular season. Halfway through the season, they traded for a starting-caliber Running Back. It was a bold move for a team that was already sporting an NFL best 7-1 record.
For Small Business owners, this means act now. Even if times are good, and you are succeeding, find ways to improve. Train your key players. Add new, smart people. Find opportunities to improve the business – and communicate to your crew that they should always be doing the same, especially during periods of success.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Short-Term Planning
Pederson was extremely good at preparing his team to focus on the task at hand. Yes, the Eagles goal was to win the Super Bowl, but they had to beat the opponent in front of them every week in order to have a shot at reaching their goal.
As small business owners, we are always chasing the big trophy or that vision of “Success.” Many don’t even stop to write a plan on how to get there. This is a huge mistake. Take time now to build an action plan that identifies the short-term milestones leading to your version of success.
5. Celebrate the Wins
We had a saying at a former workplace, “Celebrate the victories, both big and small.” I still believe that this is true. The Philadelphia Eagles embodied this approach throughout the season. Understanding that a series of successes could lead to the ultimate success was something that Pederson effectively communicated to his team. As small business owners, we tend to get tunnel vision, and could miss some of these milestones.
It is an opportunity for team-building, as well as an opportunity to show your appreciation for a job well-done.
And of course, when you reach the ultimate goal – it’s completely justifiable to reflect and celebrate.