Big Red Car here on a bright, sunny day which celebrates the Carolina Tarheels path to the championship in the NCAA Basketball Tournament — known as March Madness to y’all. [Is this a great time to be alive, or what?]
If God is not a Tarheel, why is the sky Carolina Blue?
Hook ’em, Heels!
So, there is much to be learned about the world of business by watching the NCAA Tournament.
The Heels, with an unbelievable tradition of success, are a team which is stuffed with talent, well coached, exquisitely game planned, and capable of almost flawless execution. There are other teams just like them but there are not that many.
So, Big Red Car, what can we learn from the Tarheels that is applicable to business?
Here are the lessons, y’all, pay attention:
1. This Tarheels team is loaded with talent and has been able to go deep into its bench to supply fresh legs and to wear their opponents down.
Do you hire the best talent? Do you grow that talent? Do you develop that talent? Do you play as a team?
2. This Tarheels team always has a game plan for every opponent. They do the homework to ensure they know the tendencies of their opponents and play against their actual and expected tendencies. They plan. They plan. They plan.
Dear, CEO, do you do likewise or are you a “pantser” — a seat of the pants kind of leader?
Or, do you have your Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture, business engine canvas, business process graphic, dollar weighted org charts, pitch deck, and elevator/taxicab/boardroom pitches — in perfect condition. Or are you a pantser?
3. This Tarheels team — at this time of the season — has learned how to close out the game. They were not very good closers at the beginning of the season when they lost a few big leads and failed to close out a game.
Good CEOs are constantly marketing and constantly closing. Close the deal out. Ask for the order. Make the sale. Always closing.
4. This Tarheels team is adaptable. Early in the season, Notre Dame beat the Heels at South Bend in an emotional game that saw the Irish play at the top of their game while the Heels got caught a little flat. No excuses, the Irish spanked the Heels. From failure, teams learn how to fight on and to improve the quality of their efforts. The Heels took their black eyes and fat lips back to Chapel Hill and learned. About themselves.
The second time, in the ACC tournament, the Heels were looking for revenge and put a whipping on the Irish 78-47. It was old fashioned revenge. A West Texas barbed wire enema. Ouch.
Do you learn from your failures? Do you conduct an honest post-mortem on both your disasters and your triumphs? You should.
5. This Tarheels team uses time to their advantage. When Notre Dame controlled the tempo of the game last night by holding the ball to the end of the 30-second clock, which played to their capabilities as they did not have the horses to run with the Heels, the Heels forced Notre Dame to take low probability shots with 3-5 seconds remaining. This ultimately allowed the Heels to gain a lead and sit on it for the rest of game.
While the Heels won, 88-74, the game was actually closer than the score might indicate.
Do you and your team have patience, tenacity, endurance, persistence? Do you fight through adversity? Are you happy warriors?
6. This Tarheels team lets the process crush the competition. When they begin to win, they double down on what got them there. They revere the process and work it harder as the results begin to appear.
Do you know your business processes? Do you take time to document them? Do you work out the kinks? Are you process oriented?
OK, that’s enough Tarheels for today. You, dear CEO and founder and entrepreneur, get the idea? Right?