Ok, I admit it: I’m a sports junkie. Some might even say obsessed, but I prefer the term intensely interested. However you put it, I like sports and I think a person can learn a lot of life lessons through sports. Maybe “Reasons For Wearing A Shirt In Public”, or “Why Not to Order 6 Beers Before Halftime” are needed lessons for some of our avid sports nuts out there. Or both…looking at you, Green Bay. Last night featured the 20th annual ESPY awards, hosted by ESPN to honor the year’s greatest accomplishments in sports. No team took home more awards than the NBA’s most recent champion: the Miami Heat. For those of you who live with your head buried in the soil, the Heat were assembled with 3 of the top talents in the NBA: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, who came together for the sole purpose of winning a championship together. Here’s what your organization can learn from their success:
You Need Balance
The best teams in sports usually don’t feature one big hitter and a bunch of scrawny bystanders. It’s a team for Pete’s sake. The Heat built their title team around a proven leader and former champion (Wade), a virtuoso rim-rocking freak athlete (James), and a skilled big man with a soft touch (Bosh). The were dubbed the “Big Three” because they all play different positions and provide matchup nightmares for their opponents. They then coupled this with great leadership (General Manager and 8-time NBA champ Pat Riley). Your organization needs the same balance. Find the right people for the right roles; don’t put all the responsibility on one talented individual. Learn to delegate tasks to those that can do them best and don’t try to be the “hero” every time. It doesn’t work in sports and it won’t work in business.
You also need balance with your office machines to be efficient. A handful of desktop printers under a managed print services program allows individual printing that can really save time and money with discounted toner delivered directly to your door. For copy/fax capabilities, one multifunction device can get that done with ease for the whole office. And if you need high-end production printing, a larger machine from Konica Minolta or Oce might be just what you need for those bigger jobs.
Trust in Your Relationships
The best teams, the champions through the years in any sport, have had to trust their teammates and their leadership to get the job done. Wade, James, and Bosh had to learn to play together and to trust the mentoring of Pat Riley and the game plan of their unproven coach, Erik Spoelstra. Without trust, the team would fall apart under pressure and start pointing fingers when things went wrong. After some initial difficulties, they learned to trust one another. This applies to business as well. Cherish the relationships you have with suppliers and customers and develop them! Don’t let great relationships and connections go to waste: see what you can do for others, and they will often return the favor. Within your organization, trust your co-workers to do their job and focus on doing yours to the best of your ability.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner to help make your organization more efficient, we’d love to help. We are proud of our award-wining customer service and can advise you on anything from printing systems to IT and office networking.
You don’t become a champion, or a successful organization, in one day. It takes time. The Heat, and every other ESPY winner last night, needed time to figure themselves out. Trust takes a while to develop with everyone coming from different areas of their life, and businesses coming in with different goals. You might even have to navigate through some adversity. The Heat are probably the most hated team in American sports, due to their embarrassment of riches in talent (and they just got richer, signing the NBA’s all-time 3-point shooter in Ray Allen, and another sharp-shooting veteran in Rashard Lewis) and for their perceived arrogance in predicting multiple titles before “The Big Three” even played a game. However, the Heat persevered through the tough times, including people questioning their character and toughness after losing in the NBA Finals just last year. They made it all the way back to the Finals this year and won it all this time.
It’s no different in business. Economic influences, employee turnover, customer service breakdowns, and more can and will pop up from time to time. There will be adversity and you will be tested. But if you want to be the best, just like in sports, you have to push through those tough times and keep your eyes on the ultimate goal. This is where it is important to have strong people around you, and that’s why it’s so important to develop that trust within your organization and with customers and suppliers. Business partners, like us here at LRI, can be a valuable asset in helping organizations make tough decisions and improve the bottom line with their years of experience and their network of local companies and business leaders.
So there you have it. There are lessons to be learned from all over the world of sports. You never knew that you and Lebron were so similar, did you? And to think, I’m a Lakers fan…
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