It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Nashville, Tennessee and the second week of the NFL season so I joined about 65,000 of my closest friends to watch the Titans take on the Baltimore Ravens. As opening kickoff approached, thousands of fans flooded the stadium.
And in the sea of Titan blue many fans clothed in Raven purple were chanting the impending defeat on Titans home field. In fact, the Ravens were favored to win and by some analysts, win big.
It’s funny but anything can happen in sports. The Titans delivered a sound defeat to the Ravens. The 26-13 victory gave new Coach Mike Munchak his first home victory. You can read the game highlights here.
Now for our regular readers, you know the Impact You blog typically explores leadership concepts and tools for improving personal effectiveness. So with that theme, what can we learn from a pro football game? Consider these three thoughts:
#1 Past performance doesn’t guarantee future success.
These two teams have a history. Prior to the Titans win on Sunday the Ravens led in previous match-ups and results from last week’s games gave the Ravens a win and a loss to the Titans. But those statistics didn’t have to negatively impact this game’s outcome and in fact, it didn’t. The same is true for your team. Have you experienced past setbacks? Everyone has. But that history doesn’t have to shape your team’s potential of making progress and working toward its goals. That choice starts with you the leader. Believe it so your team can start believing it too.
#2 Confidence is a key factor in creating team energy.
There is always fun hype before a game. Fans from each team talk a little “smack” to each other predicting the outcome of a game in which they don’t really know what will happen. That confidence among the fans creates energy and excitement for the teams. So what are your team’s objectives? Whether it is a football game or new product launch, the confidence you have in reaching them is essential to creating the energy the team needs to move forward and make progress.
#3 Showing support is important even we don’t know what the future holds.
Ravens fans (like Titans fans) were buzzing with team support before the game. It’s funny, we know there can only be one winner at the end of a game but until the final buzzer sounds, each team cheers and supports their team – each hoping for a victory. Fans don’t really know who will win but they show up to support the chance they will. That support is a key for any team. We can never know exactly what the future holds. Business conditions can change and team members may come and go. The determination to move forward and support progress is one thing that differentiates successful teams.
So the Titans will take on Denver while the Ravens will face St. Louis. Who knows what the outcome will be. But I’m sure each team will work this week toward a victory and will incorporate these three principles. What about your team? What will you work toward this week? Will you look forward with confidence and support? And better yet will those same attitudes be a part of your team members as well?
What do you think of this week’s article? What other lessons can we learn from a football game? We would love to hear from you.