If you are like most successful people, you have failed at one time or another. If you’re a young entrepreneur, you may feel like you will never make it. If you’re an experienced professional trying to save a sinking company, you might find the obstacles overwhelming.
The 2016 Chicago Cubs set the standard for successfully overcoming adversity. The Cubs broke curses, rejuvenated a long-suffering fan base, and won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
Here are five lessons from the Cubs spectacular success and perseverance that business leaders might find helpful.
1. Winning teams have great leaders.
Joe Maddon was the charismatic and unshakeable leader of the 2016 Cubs. Maddon provided the strategy to lead his team to a level of excellence most Cub fans believed impossible. Similarly, any business seeking solid and long lasting success needs a great leader that has vision and passion.
2. It’s a marathon – not a sprint.
The baseball season is long. Playing a 162-game regular season is a marathon – not a sprint. Having a great start to the first month of the season doesn’t mean you will still be “hot” during the playoffs in October - when the season really begins. Just like the Cubs, most businesses need some time to organize, practice, and “warm up” in the beginning. A successful business is a marathon – not a sprint.
3. Every player makes a big difference.
The Cubs superstars – Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, and Jon Lester – all played significant roles in winning the World Series title. However, the Cubs lesser-known players – Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, and David Ross – ignited the Cubs championship season. Without these players, the Cubs season ends the same way the previous seasons had – without a World Series victory. Every executive and employee in your business makes a difference. Making everyone in your business feel valued – from the superstar to the bench player – makes the success of a business more likely.
4. Preparation is the key.
Winning a World Series takes planning and preparation. The Cubs did their homework before each game. They studied the strengths and weaknesses of their own players and the opposing teams. No business sets out with the goal of failing. Preparation allows you to analyze the risks, develop a strong financial base, and react to the “curveballs” that your business will undoubtedly encounter. Taking the time to prepare can lead to success for your business.
5. Learn from past mistakes.
The 2016 Cubs had to overcome over 100 years of frustration and disappointment. By creating a winning culture, overhauling their roster, using modern technology, and employing “data-driven” analytics, the Cubs reversed decades of simply doing the same thing.
The worst thing that can happen to a business is to learn nothing from the past and repeat the same mistakes. Conducting an objective analysis of your business gives you great insight into creating a championship business.