Lessons from Superbowl Sunday

I don’t normally watch much television but last night I saw two exceptional examples of the power of doing what you do best and sticking to it and having a passion for what you do.

The New Orlean’s Saints, born in the shadow of the inaugual superbowl, clearly wanted to win more than the Colts. They were driven by a desire to bring home their first Superbowl win and to bring it to a city that needed another positive feeling about itself. They played to their strengths, with a key onside kick and an interception/ pickoff with a 74 yard return for a touchdown. They didn’t change their game in defference to a more highly rated team. They played their strengths and it was a pleasure to watch and to watch them win. Bourbon street never looked so happy.

Right after the Superbowl was UNDERCOVER BOSS, a reality show that will soon put the hyped ‘reality’ shows to shame. It takes guts and an open mind to leave the CEO tower and go work down in the trenches where the daily battles of business are won and lost. Kudos to Larry O’Donnell, President and COO of Waste Management for being open enough to get his hands dirty (literally) and to LISTEN, LEARN and ACKNOWLEDGE the skills of his people – even the one who ‘fired’ him for not making the grade.
The best part was seeing the COO invite everyone of his ‘field bosses’ to corporate to share their strengths with the management team that probably never left the tower.

Lessons learned – teams that acknowledge critical job skills, and have a positive, can do attitude are going to do best. It’s an aptitude and an attitude to make the customer/vendor/team/result stronger that pervades the successful organizations. And those who are only about themselves (me, me, me) best watch out for the power of teamwork and attitude.

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