The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective



I’m a Denver Broncos football fanatic.  This of course means, I’m in morning over the way our season abruptly ended in defeat.  Beat handily by the Indianapolis Colts, who were subsequently pummeled by the New England Patriots – we were clearly not the elite team that we thought we were.

It reminded me of a key leadership message delivered at our 2015 sales kick-off meeting:

Complacency kills opportunities for success.

Were the Denver Broncos complacent?  Maybe not exactly.  I think their demise can be attributed to something else – something worse.  The same something worse that can happen at a company.

As it turns out… the leaders of the Denver Broncos were engaged in the pursuit of next year’s opportunities vs. remaining focused on this year.  It was reported that the EVP of Football Operations (John Elway) and the Head Coach (John Fox) were “not in sync”; “mutually agreed to separate”.  Actually, it was worse than that.  They were not committed!

Leadership commitment rolls downhill, don’t you think?  Elway was not committed to Fox; therefore, Fox’s Offensive Coordinator (Adam Gase) and Defensive Coordinator (Jack Del Rio) lacked commitment – which they reciprocated by poorly preparing their players for the Divisional Playoff – and the players portrayed what non-committed playing looks like.

Leadership commitment – we can all feel the presence; or absence; of leadership commitment, can’t we?  I suppose it originates from the old adage:

In a ham and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. 

Unknown Sage

The Denver Broncos leaders were “involved” in their Divisional Playoff game, as were their players.  But they were not committed.  And the lack of commitment, closely related to complacency, infected the entire organization.  That day – they were beaten.

At the start of our 2015 sales year, my company’s leadership warned of “complacency”; closely related to “commitment”.  Not just whether our leaders are committed.  In business like football, a company’s success is attributed to everyone’s commitment, true?

Contrast the Denver Broncos debacle with miraculous come-from-way-behind-victory the Seattle Seahawks accomplished in their Divisional Championship game.  Although their quarterback (aka, “field general”) Russell Wilson threw four interceptions, his teammates refused to lose.  I say again – his teammates refused to lose!

It’s one of the reasons I coach sales professionals to “hunt as a pack”.  The Steve Jobs’, miraculous Apple rescue aside, trying to win in business today from the efforts of a singular, super star, hero comes with a corresponding “Hail Mary” chance of success.

Back to football; according to Wikipedia:

A Hail Mary pass is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success,… 

The term became widespread after a December 28, 1975 NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, when Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach (a Roman Catholic) said about his game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”

Yes, business requires risk-taking.  And it’s true that not every business risk can have a successful outcome.  But dealing with business risk should be at a far distance from relying on a Hail Mary.

I prefer to rely on a group of people (aka “the pack”); united in a common cause (aka 2015 goals); helping each other recover from interceptions (aka “occasional mistakes”); all the while portraying a zeal for success (aka commitment!).  I believe my teammates (and our leaders) refuse to lose in 2015.  Because of this commitment it will be a very good year.  Yours?


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  1. Teah
    Jan 21, 2015

    What a great reminder as we turn the corner of a new year. Its so important for leadership to remember how their commitment affects the Pack(everyone else). Thank you Gary!

    • Gary
      Jan 23, 2015

      Thanks Teah! I’m proud to have you as a member of my “pack” 🙂 Here’s to a stellar 2015 for us all. Thx, GAP

  2. Bill Foss
    Jan 21, 2015

    Nice ditty, Gary. I know that I am going to have a great year!

    • Gary
      Jan 23, 2015

      Thanks for the kind comments Coach! Here’s to a stellar 2015 for us all. Thx, GAP

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