It’s hockey season here in Minnesota! I’ve been watching my favorite team, the MN Wild playing their first games of this new season, and I enjoy when the Wild are on the Power Play. For those of you less familiar with ice hockey, a power play is when one team is given a penalty for an infraction, and their player heads to the penalty box for a couple of minutes. While that player is off the ice serving the penalty, their opponent plays with a full team, or a man advantage. This intentional methodology gives the team on the power play an extra chance to score a goal by having an extra skater during the penalty.
As a business coach and a sports fan, I often paint parallels to help my clients see that their performance is similar to the athletes in sporting contests. With everything at stake, there are few places in the world where top performance would be more crucial than in the world of business while you’re running your company. Think about how much it would increase your chances if you were able to give your company a Power Play, or be able to enjoy a true advantage in business.
Here’s a quick and easy game plan for you to develop your own Power Play in your business:
Know Your Strengths — There are many parallels between business and sport and in hockey, they work to utilize the strengths of their skaters when running their power play. You must do the same in business. If you have an amazing, seasoned sales team, or an incredible Professional Services organization that is an acknowledged company strength, you need to leverage that in your execution of your business strategy. Know your strengths. Leverage your strengths every chance you get. Consider getting every member of your team assessed with a great behavioral assessment tool, like a DISC assessment, a StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment and determine the strengths of your team. That way, you can determine how to best leverage them when you are on the power play.
Know Your Opponent — As important as it is to understand your team’s strengths, you must also make it your business to understand the other team’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can avoid their strengths, and exploit their weaknesses. Do your homework. Get together with your sales team and talk about the competition and understand their playbook and their typical game plan when you compete. If you study your competition and develop a strong sense of their tendencies, you will increase your chances of scoring when you are competing with them. Don’t obsess about the competition, just respect their strengths and understand their vulnerabilities, and be mindful of that when you compete.
Focus on Performance — In business, the best thing to focus on are your customers. If you understand your customer, and their pains and their needs, you can dial up your performance in delivering your products, services and solutions to delight them. You must be in constant communication with your prospects and customers to develop deep appreciation for their business objectives and how you can add value for them. If you and your team focus on your customers and prospects, you can create extraordinary value for them by providing them with a competitive advantage as you help them to solve their business problems. That will provide you with growth and help you to establish long-term high-value relationships. Both of those will provide a long-term advantage for your business.
Form An Alliance — Another creative way to develop an advantage in business is to form an alliance with another company whose interests are aligned with yours, but whose value-add may allow you to join forces. This way you could both increase the value you can deliver to your customers. Alliances are difficult to create and difficult to maintain, but the best companies find a way to make them work, but working hard to align interests and to collaborate at a high level to benefit their customers with new offerings and increased levels of value. That’s another advantage!
What do you think? I like the idea of creating an advantage in business and going on the power play! I hope it becomes a game changer for you. Add your comment AND send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you our 25 Best Practices on Business Leadership. Have a wonderful day!