Microsoft SMB Blog

Featuring business and technology insights from Cindy Bates
04/23/14 Posted by Cindy Bates A Lesson from the Seahawks: Find Success and then Repeat it

As someone who frequently finds career inspiration in unexpected places, I'm always on the lookout for learnings from individuals who have found success in a particular field, be it business, sports or personal life. Several months ago, my team and I had the huge honor of having Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson join us at my annual All Hands team meeting. Russell talked about his pursuit of excellence and his winning mindset.

The Seahawks then went on to win the Super Bowl, which was a thrill for all of us who call Seattle home. After the big win, I read an article about how the Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll is strategizing to win the Super Bowl again. In the article, Pete also talked about the mindset that it takes to win, and win again. He said, "There's a whole mentality that goes into how you get there, then once you get there, you continue."

Many small businesses find it challenging to maintain and repeat their initial successes. Perhaps they have a high volume of traffic during a grand opening period, but then struggle to keep customers coming in after the new business hype wears off. Approximately 543,000 new businesses are started each month, but even more shut their doors.

In the spirit of winning, and winning again, here are a few insights from Pete Carroll:

  • "You've got to know how you got there so you can repeat it again." Take the time to celebrate your success, but also make time to examine what you did to achieve it. Once you identify your own best practices, you can repeat them, and repeat your success.
  • "Always Compete." – No one wins a Super Bowl without first winning a lot of other games. Setting concrete, measurable goals is critical to long term success. Know what success looks like to you before every customer interaction or client meeting, and then play to win.
  • "These guys were driven individuals to do something special." – Pete was able to put together what he describes as a "gritty" football team. The players weren't the tallest or the fastest; in fact, quarterback Russell Wilson was pegged by others as too short to be any good. But as a team, they were driven to win. It's important for business owners to seek out employees who are committed to the business's success. The most important thing is that they want to succeed and are willing to put in the work.

Has your business found a way to make success repeatable? Tell me in the comments below.


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