10 Updates
Business Lessons From The Football Field: Knowing The Difference Between Yardage And Points
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Business Lessons From The Football Field: Knowing The Difference Between Yardage And Points

Dec 25 2013, 12:06pm CST | by

The universal goal of management for companies and startups alike is to reach business objectives with the smallest possible investment of time and money.  In a busy environment like a startup,...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

30 weeks ago

Business Lessons From The Football Field: Knowing The Difference Between Yardage And Points

Dec 25 2013, 12:06pm CST | by

The universal goal of management for companies and startups alike is to reach business objectives with the smallest possible investment of time and money.  In a busy environment like a startup, managing the ongoing stream of tasks and goal setting is an art which requires judgement and careful discernment. In the fray of getting things done, is there a compass for making sure that we are getting the most from our time and activity?

A comparison to the world of sports is instructive: In football and soccer there is a big difference between points and yardage. We all understand the world of difference between scoring points and simply moving the ball down the field. For individuals and organizations alike, it is never enough to simply move the ball: In the absence of scoring points, moving the ball is meaningless.

A common problem is that successfully moving the ball feels good. Likewise in business we are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment when we get  tasks done. Finishing a document, writing a module of code, sending an email, each in their own way feel good – we can take pride in getting each and every task done.  However, there is a danger in feeling a sense of accomplishment for the small tasks that we get done: Without proper management, this pattern can become a substitute for actually putting points on the board.

When a software team rewrites a module of code for the third time, is there really a cause to celebrate? The team feels pride in getting it done. The team knows that their software is going to run faster, be ‘cleaner’, and have better testing. The fact is that none of these accomplishments matter AT ALL until they are put in front of customers! The sense of accomplishment at getting tasks done can be a dangerous illusion.

In starting a new business, it can be exciting to set up your office, arrange the furniture, head out to the store and pick out a new printer, etc. These things feel contributory to the business, and are rewarding to think through and get done. It can be jarring to realize that none of these tasks matter unless and until your business starts making money. At the point when you do start making money, a look back may show you that much of what you did to get to that point didn’t matter at all (although may have felt good in the accomplishment).

In a personal example, I recall my parents beaming with pride at the fact that they bought a treadmill to exercise with. They needed to lose weight, and made a substantial investment: Hours spent shopping for the perfect machine, a payment in excess of a thousand dollars, the scheduling of a delivery truck, and finally hand assembly by both of them. The punchline is that they never used it, but had a real sense of accomplishment for having bought it and having installed it. It felt good for them to get this done, and felt like a measurable piece of progress toward their goal (while being a complete waste of time). Buying a treadmill and never using it is a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted example of mistaking yardage for points. (Though quite to the contrary if they had actually used it and gotten healthier.)

Managers and entrepreneurs have the responsibility to define what constitutes points, and what constitutes yardage in their business — and then to act accordingly. We know that a team can make hundreds of yards of progress and still lose the game: Points are what win games. Points are what you read about in the sports section of the newspaper. Points are what get put into the record books. Points are what we celebrate with a backflip and a high five. Yardage is necessary, but only in pursuit of your ultimate goal of making money, delivering sales, and putting products in front of customers.

A question for you: What is the next measurable way that you are going to put points on the board in your business?

Kevin Ready  is a business executive, startup mentor, and author of Startup: An Insider’s Guide to Launching and Running a Business .

Share your entrepreneur stories, comments, and questions:

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was tol ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

New Zealand All Blacks Squad Announcement
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Raky ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Ministe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern s ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 mill ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) t ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said.
 
 
Shift work can worsen asthma, pneumonia
London, July 28 (IANS) A research has found that drugs widely used to treat lung diseases like asthma or pneumonia work better with the body clock.
 
 
Decoded: What triggers sexual arousal in you
New York, July 28 (IANS) Know why just looking at an attractive face stimulates sexual arousal? Well, it takes two to tango!
 
 
Turn your selfie into emoji with this app
New York, July 28 (IANS) Tired of seeing the same yellow-faced smileys? In an age of selfies, how can emojis be far behind?
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Indian shuttlers miss out on mixed team bronze
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian shuttlers failed to replicate the performance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the 2014 edition here as they lost the mixed team bronze medal playoff 2-3 to Singapore at the Emirates...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said. Airport police said the wheels of Biman Bangladesh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Narang settles for men's 50m rifle prone silver
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian shooters continued to bring home more medals as Gagan Narang won the country's third medal Monday clinching the men's 50-metre rifle prone silver at the Commonwealth Games here. Earlier...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Nepali parties prepare to make Modi visit a success
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) Three major political parties of Nepal, at a meeting here chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Monday decided to make the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Fans hospitalised following Keith Urban's concert
Washington, July 28 (IANS) Australian singer Keith Urban's concert ended with about 22 concert-goers getting admitted into a hospital for alcohol-related problems. For many fans, Urban's Saturday night show in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Israel embarks on 'unlimited ceasefire' policy in Gaza
Jerusalem, July 28 (IANS) Israel embarked on an "unlimited ceasefire" policy in Gaza Monday morning after 21 days of conflict claimed over 1,030 Palestinian lives. The new policy, adopted amid mounting international...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Australia faces false imprisonment claims by Tamil asylum seekers
Sydney, July 28 (IANS) Over 150 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers, who were brought to mainland Australia after nearly a month Sunday, have claimed damages for false imprisonment in the high seas by the country's...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Looking forward to champagne after delivery: Kimberley Walsh
Los Angeles, July 28 (IANS) Singer Kimberley Walsh has revealed she's planning to take a bottle of champagne with her to the hospital when she goes into labour. She is seven months pregnant with her first child with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Discus thrower Jai Deep narrowly misses bronze in para event
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian para-discus thrower Jai Deep narrowly missed out on the bronze medal finishing fourth in the men's F44/42 final of the Commonwealth Games here Monday. England's paralympian Dan Greaves...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Shooter Narang wins men's 50m rifle prone silver
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) India's ace shooter Gagan Narang won the men's 50-metre rifle prone silver in the finals of the Commonwealth Games here Monday. Australian veteran Warren Potent, 52, clinched the gold and...
Read more on Sport Balla