Recognize the name Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., the greatest “steal” in the history of the National Football League draft? We’re referring to Tom Brady of course, the quarterback of the the New England Patriots, 2017 Super Bowl Champions.
Graduating from the University of Michigan, Brady didn’t exactly wow football scouts with his size, speed, arm or his athleticism. Consequently, he was a sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft, the seventh quarterback and the 199th player taken overall.
Since being drafted however, Brady, now 40, has quarterbacked the Patriots to five Super Bowl championships. That’s not all. A four-time Super Bowl MVP, Brady has appeared in more playoff games than any player at any position, has never had a losing season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and his 208 combined regular-season and postseason wins are also the most of any quarterback in NFL history.
Looking back at the 2000 draft, who would ever have dreamed he could achieve so much? Perhaps Patriots coach Bill Belichick saw something about Brady that the scouts overlooked.
Belichick also joined the Patriots in 2000. An all-business, detail-obsessive guy, Belichick implemented and maintains systems and processes to get players to perform at their highest level but also cohesively as a team. Who can argue with the success that his star pupil, Brady, and his teammates over this past decade has achieved?
A recent webinar by green industry business consultant Jeffrey Scott touched on the similarities between a championship football team like the Patriots and best-performing green industry companies.
Start by considering the language we borrow from football to describe our business activities.
When we make a big sale that’s a touchdown, a big score. Alternatively, who wants to fumble a sales presentation or drop the ball on a service call? But there’s an even bigger business nightmare, having to rely upon a Hail Mary to avoid a business failure.
Scott offered another football term that is just as apt for our business world and one that we can use to markedly increase the effectiveness of our companies. The word is “huddle.” He shared its significance in his recent webinar entitled Achieving 10X Productivity.
Used as a noun or a verb, the meaning of the word huddle is essentially the same. In football, a huddle is a gathering of teammates in a close circle or tight bunch to receive instructions from a team captain, quarterback or sideline coach. Defined in a business context, it’s a conference, or consultation, especially a private meeting to discuss serious matters. Whether used in football or business, the definitions are not that dissimilar.
Scott shared the analogy of a football team that doesn’t huddle but rather rushes to the scrimmage line, each player just assuming what they should do when the football is snapped. What a mess. The results can be just as disjointed for companies when “team members” don’t regularly get together (huddle) to discuss issues, review their individual roles and measure their progress in reaching defined goals for themselves and their company.
Here are suggestions from Scott to make the huddles within your company more productive:
- Develop and stick to a clear time-stamped agenda. Stay on schedule.
- Include individuals that need to be in the meeting, team members that have a clear role within the meeting.
- As the coach, maintain control and don’t let discussions get sidetracked with sidebars.
- Encourage feedback from team members. When the coach does all the talking it discourages feedback and buy-in.
- Focus on strategy and the execution of strategy. Keep the focus on bigger issues and don’t get too bogged down on details.
- Develop and agree upon clear actions and decisions, then move forward to implement them. “That’s the movement that gets everybody excited about being in the meeting,” said Scott.
Beyond being great for team building, regularly huddling with key team members keeps them apprised as to both their individual and their collective progress in reaching agreed-upon goals.
“Everyone should have a metric or two that they are accountable for, some way to measure their progress, their success for the day and ultimately for the week,” shared Scott in the webinar.