Celebrating the Chiefs – could your business be next?

No less than a half dozen people asked if there was a business blog coming tied to the Chiefs Super Bowl Victory.   I guess when you’ve been waiting 50 years, it’s expected.  And by now we all know “You Gotta Fight for the Right to Party!  

What’s great about sports and business is that there are so many parallels to tie between the two. Teamwork. Strategy. Leadership. Time Management. Preparation. Efficiency. Focus. Values.  That is only a handful of words you’re as likely to use in business as you are in sports.   

When thinking about this Chiefs’ team there were a few others that have stuck out.  Maybe some of these could apply will to your business too?  

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Here’s one with grit: Perseverance   

This Chief’s team will be remembered for a lot of firsts, but without a doubt they will be remembered as the only team to come back after being down by double digits in each of their playoff games, including the Super bowl.   Believing that you can win when all the statistics say otherwise.  That’s perseverance.  In business this might be hitting a sales number in a challenging market, reaching a production goal when labor is tight, or any number of unplanned obstacles that can get in the way of your business succeeding.

The next time you think the deck is stacked against you, think about the swings in win probability percentages the Chiefs pushed through during their playoff run.  They were unprecedented.  For example, in the divisional game, when the Texans put up 24 points, Houston had a 91.3% chance of winning and it was only the 1st quarter!  But, in less than 4 minutes it flipped to a 58.8% chance the Chiefs would win.   Most impressive was with under 7:30 left in the 4th the 49ers had a 95.3% chance of winning.   Crunching all the potential scenarios for victory, the computers said the Chiefs only had a 4.7% chance of winning!    

The next time your team thinks the odds don’t look good, remind them what the Chiefs faced on their path to a Super Bowl Championship and say….

“Let’s do something special!”  

– Patrick Mahomes

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Here’s one that connects: Community

With so much decisiveness and division in our political environment, it’s easy to feel like everyone is at odds with everyone else. What is great about sports is that it gives us all something we can rally around together.   You put on your favorite red shirt and you’re all part of the same team.   Successful businesses have been finding ways to do this for years whether it’s helping pickup trash along the highway, sponsoring a youth sports team, or raising money to support a local family in need.  

After joining 800,000 of our closest friends for the Royals Celebration in 2015, we had to experience the Chiefs Victory Parade this past Wednesday.  What has been amazing about both events is how much good you witness and experience between all the people standing out there literally packed so tightly one can barely move.  But when a parent needs get their child to the restroom, little pathways miraculously open and hands reach out to stabilize them as they make their way through.  It just made you proud of the place you call home.   How does your business connect in the community?

“It’s pretty cool just to see the support we have. It’s unmatched, Kansas City and the Chiefs Kingdom, the support they have for us. For me to just kind of be in the community and see those people is always a good thing.”

– Patrick Mahomes
A group of people in front of a crowd

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This one can be hard to handle: Success

It is well known that staying on top of the mountain once you’re there is just as hard a getting there in the first place. The pressures to stay on top are great. You’re no longer flying under the radar.  Your competition is analyzing and questioning every move you make.  Your supporters expect your next performance to be as good or greater than your last.  A lot of the same media that were praising you, look for angles to tear you down. There are new financial pressures both from an outflow (increased salaries and overhead) and inflow (additional revenues). All of this can be hard to manage.  

In the coming months, the Chiefs will be dealing with all of these, at levels they have never experienced before.  Maybe it’s not to the same degree, but the fact is every successful business has experienced most of these challenges at some point along the way.  How you’re able to handle success has a tremendous impact on any long-term achievements you’re striving for.  

We have written a number of articles on Celebrating Success.  Every business should celebrate success, especially after waiting 50 yrs.  There’s been a lot of celebrating in the Chiefs Kingdom over that last couple weeks.  

Last year after the devasting loss in the AFC Championship game, we wrote about how Mahomes appears to be fit the mold of the Ideal Team Player.  It’s based on the simple idea that successful team players possess 3 virtues: Humble, Hungry,  and Smart.   This year he continued to show those virtues, although he (and the rest of the starters) will be challenged going forward with all of the press and accolades they’ve been getting. And the players took full advantage of having a great time at the parade and rally – maybe a bit out of control, but most fans are giving a free pass to any actions that may have pushed the celebration envelope a little during the parade event; at the end of the day most of players are still in their 20’s. 

“Every experience, good or bad, you have to learn from.”

– Patrick Mahomes

Moving forward, how the Chiefs handle their success will ultimately play into the likelihood of winning additional championships in the years to come.   Whether your success is being judged by a fan base, stockholders, market share, or the financial health of the business, past accomplishments quickly fade.  It’s about what you are going to do moving forward that ultimately determines the likelihood of creating any kind of dynasty, whether you’re talking about a pro-football team or your own business.  In many ways the real work starts now.      

Congratulations to the Chiefs!  It has been a great ride in the Kingdom.  Hopefully we experience a few more of these in the years to come.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach

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