When you’re watching March Madness, you may not realize that coaching basketball is a lot like running a business. Coaches and business owners both need strong leadership skills, devotion, commitment, the ability to deal with a range of personalities and a solid work ethic. Business owners and coaches both need to wear many hats to make sure their people are all working as a team efficiently in order to achieve their goals. Here we discuss more specifically ways that running a business is like coaching a basketball team.
While NBA basketball games are divided into four quarters, the business year is also cut up into fours. Every three months a company must file quarterly, and they use data from each quarter to go forward. They examine trends and make comparisons in order to see what worked well, and what needs improvement in order to make a profit next quarter. Coaches must do the same thing with their players by taking the time between each quarter to change players and discuss strategies based on how the previous quarter was going.
In business and basketball, unforeseen circumstances may arise like a financial crash or an injury. A good owner has a backup plan in place for the next quarter to go smoothly. Coaches will consult with their assistant coaches to get advice on strategic moves to advance in the game, while business owners will consult with colleagues, financial institutions and IT professionals.
On a basketball team, you have players in specific positions because of the skill sets they possess. Your center is the tall one who plays close to the basket, while your forwards are the ones who have the most versatility. Coaches must individually handle the development of each player based on these skills and their own personalities. In business, those in charge have to set goals for their individual employees based on where their strengths lie and nurture them according to these goals.
During halftime, the coach often takes the time to give a speech or have a motivational discussion with the team to inspire them to keep on going and give their all for the good of the team. Business owners should do the same, but their motivation is not usually only a speech. When running a business you need to motivate employees with incentives like bonuses, benefits and skill building training sessions. Instead of a speech, employers will see improvements in their team by being clear about how important each employee is to the business in reaching a common objective. Be enthusiastic about the team effort but don’t lose your cool when things are getting tough. For both coaches and business owners, when the team sees how much you care and respect them it will inspire them to care and you’ll see positive results in return.