Taking Care of Business — The Tarheels Teaching

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?

But, hey, what do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and a Heels fan. Hook ’em, Heels! [Go to Hell, Duke!]




6 thoughts on “Taking Care of Business — The Tarheels Teaching

  1. I’d like to watch b-ball, and especially like to
    watch good b-ball, but long ago I gave up:

    (1) I don’t even know the rules very well, and when I looked on the Internet I couldn’t find the rules or even an introduction to the rules.

    (2) TV always treated b-ball like all other sports, as formula fiction with characters, ones the audience is supposed to identify with, independent of the game, the rules, or anything else. So, we get, say, “He’s the best rebound getter who ever put on a jock strap, and he will win if he possibly can.” E.g., in auto racing, the coverage is about the drivers with essentially nothing on the engineering.

    For more, TV mostly just followed the ball, and I could never get any insight at all into what the heck happened.

    (3) I don’t understand the game at all. Not even a little bit over just put the ball in the basket. And, I never saw any opportunity via TV watching to understand the game. Net, I don’t have even a weak little hollow hint of a tiny clue what is going on in the game.

    Watching a game, I couldn’t tell the difference between zone defense and man-to-man. For anything deeper about offense or defense, I wouldn’t have a clue.

    (4) B-ball is fast, too fast for me to see what is going on, especially on just a TV screen with old TV resolution. For apparently many crucial points, the best I can see is a blur.

    I gave up on TV b-ball. Similarly for TV football.

    To get me to watch, the people who produce b-ball TV coverage will have to up their game exponentially many points. Here’s a start: Just f’get about the game. Instead, get about 22 cameras that cover the court — my understanding is that those cameras are already in place and are used for the game films for the coaches. Then put that video on the Internet where can go slow motion and/or frame by frame and get expert commentary. Then, I could follow and start to understand the game.

    Next, let out what now appear to be deep, dark secrets of the Bat Cave — the rules, the darned rules, what the heck are the rules, the secret, hidden, darned rules — let out the darned rules.

    Next, game fundamentals. I don’t have a clue. What are the fundamental skills, tactics, and strategies? Explain them.

    Next, statistics, I want the summary statistics.

    Then maybe I’ll try again to watch b-ball.

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