The professional Sport Leagues offer important leadership lessons that could be applied in business for attaining improved results. This presentation offers few such examples, illustrating professional players and teams and their leadership skills that brought them success in their activity.
When it comes to leadership, it is all about sharing. “The More You Share, the More You Have” seems to be the motto of Peyton manning, the NFL leader of the 2014. As a quarterback, he needs a strong defense team and he consolidates this team, through his leadership attributes. As such, he respects all his team members sharing the rewards with them. The other players lookup to him because he offers on-field guidance and coordination, motivates his colleagues, enhancing like this their commitment to the game. He developed a culture of “Let’s do it” rather than “You do it,” expressing the participative leadership traits. He is always prepared, and this is why he can deliver a vision, attracting others to follow him.
The next leadership figure is the legendary Larry Bird, the former Hall of Famer Celtics player. He has on-field strategy, passing, defending or scoring when needed, sensing the moment. By passing the ball, he instills confidence in his teammates, who become more engaged in the game. Everything he does is for the game, no personal gains, and this is why he works harder than everybody. Like this, he motivates his colleagues to become better. As Bird says – It doesn’t matter who scores the ball, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer.
“Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity” – the words of Bob Kennedy are representative for Texas Western. In 1966, this basketball team that composed five black members won the NCAA Championship making history for the Civil Rights. Embracing the diversity, optimizing every person’s capabilities and developing a feeling of belonging to a team is what we learn from this great team in terms of leadership.
An example of “not like this” is the case of North Carolina State and Jimmy V. Although in 1983 he won the NCAA with this team, Valvano’s behavior is not worthy of the professional league. He trafficked sports equipment and game tickets, was accused of racist behavior and of protecting the criminal behavior of his team, without finding treatment for such behavior, which caused the biggest part of his players to not graduate.
The Account Executives should prepare for the game just as Peyton Manning, for approaching each account with professionalism. They should always have a strategy and should sense the moment when to propose, negotiate, tactfully communicate, be assertive or outgoing, just as Larry Bird. AEs should also maximize the skills of a diverse team, just as Texas Western teaches. And unlike the case of Jimmy V, the AEs should stay focus on the business, not digressing from their tasks.
For AEs to succeed and to gain back the losses, it is important to stay focused and to permanently reach higher, targeting higher objectives and preparing for increased customer expectations.