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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Monday, February 6, 2017

Productivity Best Practices from Super Bowl LI

Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots, is often called a "legend" or the "greatest of all time", and his team's win in last night's Super Bowl LI reinforced those beliefs for many who had been thinking that way. At halftime, the National Football Conference champions (the Atlanta Falcons) led the American Football Conference champions (the New England Patriots) by a score of 21 to 3, and most folks were saying the game was over. No team had ever overcome that large of a deficit in the Super Bowl, especially when the lead stretched to 28 versus 3 in the 3rd quarter, but no one counted on the spectacular play of Patriots' supporting cast members, like running back James White, tight end Martellus Bennett, wide receiver Danny Amendola, defensive lineman Trey Flowers and wide receiver Julian Edelman. There are a couple important productivity lessons brought to light by this Patriots' win, and we can implement them to organize for success in our lives.

First, there's no I in TEAM, and, together, everyone achieves more. Although quarterback Tom Brady was awarded the Super Bowl MVP in 2015 and 2017, he acknowledged in both cases that he could never have achieved such a big, hairy, audacious goal without everyone on the team carrying their share of the workload. In 2015, he gave the truck he was awarded as MVP away to Patriots' cornerback Malcolm Butler; then, earlier today, Brady again acknowledged this win coming from a real team effort by saying "I think James White deserves it" in reference to the truck Brady was awarded as the 2017 Super Bowl MVP. Situational football plays a key role in such an epic comeback, and there are so many critical plays that contribute to a team performance of this magnitude: James White set a Super Bowl record with 20 points and 14 receptions; Trey Flowers sacked Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan in a pivotal play late in the 4th quarter, which is one play Ryan truly wishes he could change; Julian Edelman might've saved the day with a miraculous, gravity-defying, history-making and absolutely incredible catch, which you should click here to watch now if you've yet to see it or follow a step-by-step breakdown of the play here. Aristotle said, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts", but it is through the culmination of all these players' contributions that the entire Patriots' team won.

Second, focused efforts without distraction over the duration of a project lead to effectively achieving desired results. When trailing by over 8 touchdowns, the Patriots could have easily given up, and most folks could have related to that feeling of being unable to overcome such a large deficit, particularly as such a Super Bowl comeback had never been done before. It's hard to believe you can accomplish something no one has done before, but the Patriots exhibited the mental toughness necessary when it might've been most difficult. One of the mantras for which Coach Belichick is most well known is "Do your job", and, for each member of the Patriots' team, doing his job consisted of diligently and attentively playing football, working beyond his limitations and showing mastery for all aspects of his game throughout the entire 60 minutes of four, 15-minute quarters as well as the first 4 minutes of overtime. No more and no less. Some have said the Falcons' defense appeared tired in the final quarter of the game while others have said the Patriots' offense finally figured out how to overcome what the Falcons' defense had been doing; regardless, the New England Patriots fulfilled Coach Belichick's expectation of doing all the little things it takes to win. Diligently paying attention to details led to the Patriots' success.

The men's basketball team for North Carolina State University was coached by Jim Valvano from 1980 to 1990, after which he famously battled metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of bone cancer. One of Coach Valvano's most memorable motivational speeches was delivered February 21, 1993, during which Valvano stressed the importance of hope, love and persistence and included his famous quote of "Don't give up, don't ever give up." In last night's Super Bowl LI victory, the Patriots chose to never give up. Couple the Patriots' persistence with teamwork and each team member doing his job with great focus as well as attention to detail, and it's easy to see why the New England Patriots were rewarded with a remarkable Super Bowl victory.

What productivity practices make your organization most successful? Do you practice teamwork? Do you reinforce focusing on the details to do your job well? Do you have a culture of not quitting and not giving up?

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