“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather is a lack of will.”      


Professional football coach Vince Lombardi was a legendary motivator of men.  His teams set records, won the first three Super Bowls, and though fundamental in their football, they were flawless in their execution.  Lombardi led the Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls and five NFL Championships in seven years. Lombardi never had a losing season in his NFL career, and is considered by many to be one of the best and most successful coaches in professional football history.

Sports are a microcosm of life.  If a person can be successful in playing or coaching a sport, it is indicative of their potential success in life. In business we often take a page from the playbook of sports teams and apply it to our businesses.  I am reminded of the story about Coach Lombardi on the first day of training camp in July of 1961.  The last game of the prior season the Packers had suffered a humiliating loss in the NFL Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.  The players and the coaching staff had the entire off season to ponder the haunting defeat where they had squandered a lead in the 4th quarter loss.

When the players reported for preseason camp the next year Coach Lombardi took nothing for granted; in his system every player and every season was a blank slate at the beginning of training camp. He assumed that no player came into camp with any knowledge whatsoever and that it was his job to make them over from scratch.  In his first address to the team that hot July day he began with the most elemental statement of all:  “Gentlemen,” he said, holding a football in his right hand, “this is a football!” This methodical teaching of fundamentals continued throughout training camp, right down to the basics of blocking and tackling. Lombardi knew if you could master the fundamentals of any game and execute them flawlessly, that the more complex aspects of the game could be built upon those sound fundamentals.

So how do we apply this methodology to our businesses?  It’s not as hard as many would have you believe.  After all, mastery of nearly any endeavor in life is the result of deeply understanding simple ideas.  Master the following 5 fundamentals in your business, and you too will produce a championship team:



  1. Remember that you are the leader. People are watching you, emulating you, wanting to be just like you.  They will not go farther than they think you perceive they can go.  So expect the most of your staff, set the bar high, be a good example for them, practice what you preach, and give them every tool to achieve your collective goals, but most especially give them leadership.
  1. Create a winning culture in your business, and only hire winners. Bring in people who are self-starters, who can function as part of a team, who are competitive and challenge oriented, and who have a history of setting high standards for themselves.
  1. Set expectations high for each and every person on your staff/team. Demand the best from them and they will give you their best. Create a system of rewards and incentives for achievers that recognize their contributions and hard work.
  1. Everybody needs clear direction, everybody needs to know their role, everybody needs to be responsible for their work and the timely completion of their projects, everybody needs to know that they are valued. Communication is one of the keys to a healthy and vibrant workplace.
  1. Trust and be trustworthy. You need to establish a team that does not need massive amounts of supervision and direction.  You want people who are thinkers and doers, who know when to seek out help but can also work independently and meet deadlines.  By the same token, they need to know that they are in a safe environment and that you are cheering them on, providing support and understanding, and believe in them and their capabilities.  Trust in the workplace is a two-way street.

Practice and follow these simple ideas and you will find yourself winning in life and business’s championships.  It all begins with you, and you can make the difference.  You are the leader, the coach, the owner, and you are the biggest factor in the success of your business.


“Get Back Up, Give Your Best…WIN!”