Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cowboys, Business and Execution

I'm sufficiently recovered from the Cowboys playoff loss to the Giants on Sunday to post a few lessons.

The loss was not about strategy. At that level, as in business, people at the top of their game will come up with a winning strategy. Although we often fail to take into account our competitor's response to our strategy. The Cowboys felt that they could take advantage of the Giant's green secondary. I don't think they asked, "what if these guys play at the top of their game because their green and don't know any better?". Your business does the same thing whether you admit or not.

The loss was not about talent. The Cowboys are more talented than the Giants. Your company is more talented than your competitors.

The loss was not about teamwork. The 'boys played as team. You saw it after the game with T.O. crying at the press conference. Face it, the Cowboys are better at teamwork than your business is. When was the last time you cried over a lost sale?

The loss was not about leadership. If it was, Jerry Jones is bright enough to make leadership changes. He wouldn't change a thing.

The loss was about execution plain and simple. Folks who were supposed to get things done didn't. Crayton dropped two passes, one of them with room to run for a touchdown. The line didn't hold in the fourth quarter resulting a number of nicked throws. The defense didn't hold just before halftime.

None of this is strategy, talent or teamwork. A little bit might be on field leadership. Most of it is simple execution. Knowing how to do something is one thing. Doing it is another. Doing it with opposition is what leads to greatness.

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