What an Entrepreneur can Learn From The Seahawks Victory Over The Redskins

January 9, 2013

This post is about the Seahawk’s versus Redskins playoff game and why it was amazing. The Seahawks faced off with the Redskins but in the very first quarter the Seahawks found themselves down 0 – 14, held scoreless in the first quarter with no apparent chance of winning.
Seattle’s defense just couldn’t stop the Redskins, nor could their offense move the ball leaving the Redskins to totally dominate the field. But in the second, third and fourth quarters, the Seahawks pulled out their magic to  turn the game around, preventing the Redskins from scoring and eventually winning the game 24-14.
When I see that level of play, I have to ask myself what happened. Just how did this team go from zero to fourteen to win the playoff, especially at an away game where the Seahawks have been known to be at a disadvantage?

Pure skill leads Seattle Seahawks to victory

One of the aspects of this particular game that made it remarkable was the fact that the win wasn’t the result of mere luck. They rightfully won because of pure skill and their ability to pull together to become the better team.
Seattle didn’t enjoy a lucky fumble or a sudden runback to touchdown. Neither did the winners benefit from injury to the opposing team that might have taken one of their star players off the field. It really wasn’t luck that lead the Seahawks to victory, but that the Seahawks simply proved themselves to the superior players.

Leadership by Coaches & Players

Another noteworthy aspect of the Seahawk win was the evidence of leadership both on and off the field. Finding your team down 14-0 in foreign territory can quickly break your momentum and make it almost impossible for your team to function effectively.
In order to come back from a deficit like that, clear leadership has to be in charge, not only of the defense and offense, but of the entire coaching staff. If the team hadn’t been confident from the top down in their ability to overcome, they would have never been able to come from behind to win the game.

Play callers adapted their strategy

The Seahawk’s ability to respond in real time, and adapt their game strategy accordingly, proved to be a major contribution to their strong play and eventual victory. At the outset, seemingly none of their game plans worked as intended.
Their offensive strategies didn’t work and their defensive strategies were no better. Thinking of the players on the field as chess pieces, you understand that their job is to be moved and to follow the instructions given by the coaches. So when Seattle found themselves down by 14, the play makers and coaches had to identify not only what was wrong but how to fix it.
It’s fair to say that  the coaches’ clear ability to adapt their game strategy eventually lead the team to victory. Of course, that was only possible because the players respected the coaches enough to listen to them rather than take matters into their own hands. That was evidence of teamwork at its finest, a quality that any Super Bowl bound team should have.
What really made this game enjoyable to watch was the level of sportsmanship at work; the entire team functioning as one in order to overcome a 14-0 deficit and dominate the rest of the game, advancing the Seahawks to the next round.

What  can a business leader learn from this victory?

Seeing these qualities and noticing what contributed to this win makes me want to compare this game to winning in business. In the world of business and entrepreneurship, how does the Seahawk’s success compare to how we function as business owners? You can imagine that being 0-14 in the first quarter of a playoff game would be comparable to trying to make a $40k payroll in seven days, fully knowing that you’re $20k short with no obvious solution in sight. It’s the same gut feeling as having to ask yourself “What am I going to do if I can’t pay my employees?”

Generating new revenue

In such a case, in order to pull yourself out of that apparent defeat, you might have to rally your sales force and back them with the full support of your entire team; providing leadership to do what appears to be impossible without demoralizing your entire office by telling your staff that you’re having difficulty making payroll.

Close open projects

Instead of making more sales, it may prove simpler to increase your cash flow by completing open projects or stepping up efforts to collect on accounts receivable. In order to execute that you may have coordinate between your accounting and operations staff to reach your goal. Close communication with your employees can be instrumental to everyone contributing their best efforts, even beyond the usual scope of their job descriptions.

Investor Relations

One final solution to make payroll possible would be to speak with your bank or the investors in your company who have a clear and vested interest in the stability of your workforce and the company at large. Key stakeholders may be able to help you source the necessary funds that would help get you over that hump if they’re willing to act from a long-term perspective.
No matter how you look at it, whether you consider the Seahawk’s victory or this business scenario, the key takeaway here is your ability to remain grounded despite your impulse to panic when you’re staring defeat squarely in the eye. Maintain your ability to visualize the win by understanding that you’ve build the team and have your team around you to support your mutual goals. Together you can shift impossibility to reality by never losing sight of what you’ve set out to accomplish.


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