It’s here again – that fast-paced NCAA college basketball tournament we like to call March Madness. This year, while you’re at the local bar sipping a beer and anxiously waiting to update your bracket, take a minute to consider what business lessons you can learn from this event…
Put Your Ego Aside
Basketball is a team sport, and every time the players step out onto the court, they have to remember to put their egos aside and do what’s best for the team. While everyone may want to be that person who shoots the game-winning basket or the one who racks up the most points in a game, it may be better to set up shots for your teammates or leave the three-point throws to a better shooter.
The same goes for those in the business world. You have to remember that the business is a team and there may be times where you need to step back and let others take the reigns in order to have the best chance of success.
Take Advantage of Brand Loyalty
Many people form strong bonds with a certain college (often their alma mater) and will support them in any situation. This is especially true when it comes to March Madness – you’ll find people defending and rooting for their college up until the end (which, of course, they hope is the national title).
In business, you’ll find people who love your products or services and will stick by them. This brand loyalty is something you want to take advantage of. Encourage them to spread the word about your business and to help you build a good reputation by giving you a positive review on Facebook, Google+, Yelp, and more.
Each Battle Is Its Own
During March Madness, each team needs to make it through five different games to have a shot at the national title. While five games may not seem like a lot, each game can bring a different challenge and in order to win, players need to focus on their current opponent and the best ways to beat them in that moment.
Whether you run a business or you’re part of a business, you’re going to face obstacles. Some may be anticipated and some may be out of the blue, but your best bet is to simply focus on the current challenge and what you can do to get through it.
Trust the Experts Around You
When basketball players are part of a team, they quickly learn that certain teammates are better at playing a position than others. While one person may be a great forward, another may be a good point guard, and when the team knows how to rely on those who do their jobs best, the team as a whole can succeed.
Basketball players trust the experts around them, and so should you. If you’re having trouble with a certain project or assignment, don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who is familiar with the situation. They’ll not only get you through it, but they’ll teach you how to do so.
Expect the Unexpected
Every year, there are at least a handful of “upsets” where a lower-seeded team beats a higher-seeded team. Some of them may be anticipated, but there are others that are completely unexpected.
In the business world, you’re going to run into situations that take you completely by surprise, and the only thing you can do is handle them to the best of your ability and remember that anything can happen.