Do Your Job!
It’s The Patriots’ Way
On February 1st Pete Carroll did his job for the Patriots. He did his job 15 years later than planned but he finally delivered a Lombardi Trophy to the Patriots. All is well and good in New England.
One of the statements that the New England Patriots use is “Do Your Job”. Football can be a great deal like business. We all have to do our jobs. However, to simply state “Do your Job” is not enough information. What does it mean to “do your job”.
We can all learn from the New England Patriots when it comes to this statement. Let’s examine this simple statement in more detail.
Do Your Job – The Situation
To do your job it means that we have to know the situation – the Patriots are the best situational Football team in the land. They know exactly what they want to do in (almost) all situations. They have a plan and they have practiced key situations in advance. They always seem to be prepared to take advantage of a situation.
In business, we also have to know the situation and to have plans for certain key situations. We need to understand – in advance – and need to prepare and practice so that we can also take advantage of key situations and opportunities.
Do Your Job – The Competition
A good Football team knows the competition and knows them well. The Patriots study the competition in detail and then define a game plan specific for that game and specific competitor.
If one were to examine the faithful play that Seattle called when at the 1 yard line, at the end of the game (2nd and Super Bowl), it is a perfect example of Bill Belichick knowing the competition. He played for a pass by not calling a timeout. When the clock was down to 26 seconds he knew that Seattle now knew they had to throw a pass if they wanted to use all three available downs as there was not enough time to run it for 3 downs. A pass would save the clock for Seattle to have 3 chances for a winning touchdown. By Belichick knowing the tendencies of the competition (specifically Pete Carroll) he achieved the goal of the New England Patriots.
In business, we also need to know our competition. We have to know what they do well and what is a weakness. We have to know if it makes sense to exploit a certain weakness as this may be a business opportunity. If we are bidding on an opportunity then we may have one key competitor that we have to out-perform. We need to know this and present our case in a manner that makes the potential client realize that we are the one with which to proceed. Knowing your competition well is vital for business success.
Do Your Job – The Plan
The Patriots have a goal and it is the same goal as every other team in the NFL. Goals need plans so that they can be achieved. As noted above the Patriots have a specific plan. They have a plan for the entire season which starts well before the actual playing season starts. They have a plan for each game. They have a plan for each situation. They have plans with clear and concise objectives. Everyone knows their part in the plan. Everyone knows their job.
In business, we often refer to goals and objectives. Sometimes, in business the goal is worthy but the plan is not. The best operations have goals that some refer to as S.M.A.R.T. goals. Your business team needs to know the goal and needs to know their part in achieving the goal. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals and communicate them well. Here is some S.M.A.R.T. goal advice. First a review of what S.M.A.R.T. stands for.
- Time Bound
A S.M.A.R.T. goal approach can be applied to the goals and the objectives of the New England Patriots and to your business projects too. Below is a table that can help you to better understand how your projects stack up. If your project is in the red then do not proceed unless you resolve the issues. If your project scores in the 4 or 5 range then proceed and if solidly a 5 in each area then proceed with gusto!
Do Your Job – Measure
Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff are always measuring things. No factor is below their concern if it can lead to a competitive advantage (and I’m not referring to deflate gate).
For a business you need to consider your options and be willing to experiment. You need to make measurements and then make adjustments to insure that optimal performance is achieved. To proceed without a measurement system in place is to proceed without the proper knowledge about what is optimal. Without a measurement system you do not know how to make good and proper adjustments. A worst case situation is that you are proceeding in the dark.
Do Your Job – Execution
As Vince Lombardi was famous for saying “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” The Patriots again, try to live up to this conviction. The Patriots are not perfect but they work hard to execute to their plan. They always are striving to improve. Execution starts for them well before they step on the field.
As a business, you also need to work hard to execute your plan. Know your strengths and capitalize on them. If a weakness becomes a major issue then figure out how to mitigate it. Always push to improve your execution. Your clients will recognize this and appreciate it. Clients will continue to reward you by being loyal and even help you to expand by providing referrals.
Execution is essential. If you need any evidence of this look to the New England Patriots – Super Bowl XLIX Champions!