It was a rough day by all accounts for Green Bay Packer, #86 Brian Bostick. During Sunday’s NFC championship, Brian now famously missed an onside kick that bounced right off the top of his head. This then locked down a drive by the Seahawks in which the scored the touchdown that allowed the championship game to go into overtime. This is singularly considered one of the biggest mistakes in an NFL game since Ray Finkle of the Miami Dolphins where they missed a field goal in the 1984 Superbowl. Seattle recovered and proceeded to complete one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history for the 28-22 win in overtime. End. Of. Story. Or is it?
"I just feel like if I was able to do my job--my assignment was to block--Jordy would have caught the ball and the game would have been over."-Brian Bostick
It was heartbreaking enough to watch for sure, but then the young men in my house started following me around with their smartphones, showing me the photo of the missed catch. They kept repeating phrases such as, “Mom he was SO close! It actually bounced off his head!” Or, “I bet his teammates are so mad at him!” The scenario and photos had an interesting effect on my family—it was personal. We had each been in a similar position at some points in our lives. Not on that scale, but everyone knows what it feels like to miss the ball.
Athletics and business always have endless analogies of similarity. How many times do we say things in the workplace that are similar to what we would say in a game situation?
- Keep your eye on the ball.
- I didn’t see it coming.
- That's just the way the ball bounces.
Each of us is destined and designed for waves of varying degrees of success and failure in our professional lives. A person is ultimately driven by two forms of success. The first is being driven toward success in an effort to not fail; to be driven therefore by a fear of failure. The second is being driven by the desire to succeed without a fear of failure. It’s what you do when you fail that counts. How you react. How you learn from the situation and become a better team member. I’m not as interested in what happened last Sunday during the game to Brian Bostick, but ultimately what he makes of the situation in upcoming years. I am hoping he becomes not a cautionary tale on what happens when a plan is not executed well, but instead an example to all of us of how to turn that moment into something more. Wouldn’t it be great if he became a motivational speaker, a coach to kids across the country who also knows how it feels to miss the ball and lose the game?
It’s like that for us as a sales coaches as well. We try to study the stats, call the right plays, navigate the team to a huddle and go for the win. It doesn’t always work out that way. It’s a discipline being a coach--being fully willing to be in the trenches with your team, day in and day out.
Even though we know and practice the fundamentals, the blocking and tackling or execution of sales coaching activities are simple in theory:
- Regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings
- Joint Call Work and Post Call Evaluations
- Team Meetings
- Career Development Plans
And yet with any good plan or methodology, it still takes the determination to support your team by performing these activities as an fully-engaged coach. Some days we can do everything right and still not get the ‘win.’ It’s then that your coaching leadership is exceptionally vital to the performance of the team.