How would you like to drastically improve your organizational performance? To heighten your business’s productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness through improved clarity, collaboration, and culture? 

Well look no further than the current NCAA tournament for a series of practical, actionable constructs, frameworks, and strategies that you can adapt, apply, and customize to your team! 

Here are (Sweet) 16 Lessons Your Organization Can Learn from March Madness:

  1. Momentum matters. When you’re hot, keep that momentum going as long as you can! When you’re not, do the little things to get it going. You do that by tripling down in your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. 
  2. Missed shots, turnovers, and fouls will happen. They are an inevitable part of the game. Perfection doesn’t exist. How do you respond? How effortlessly do you bounce back? How quickly do you refocus on the Next Play?
  3. Throw out the rankings and seeds. Everyone is 0-0. All that matters is how well you play, and how well you execute, TODAY. On any given night, anyone can beat anyone else. BELIEVE or leave…
  4. Every detail matters. Everyone on your team needs to know the time, score, foul situation, possession arrow, and how many timeouts you have… at all times. 
  5. When a teammate gets down (literally or figuratively), help lift them up. If a teammate goes out (fouled out, injured, or ejected), everyone else must STEP UP!
  6. Playing hard isn’t enough, you must also play smart and play together as well. And it helps to have FUN! You do everything better with a sense of authentic enthusiasm! 
  7. You don’t control what the referees call (or don’t call). You must play through it. Next Play. Don’t blame, complain, or make excuses. Referees make mistakes just like players and coaches. You don’t have to like it (or agree), but accept it. 
  8. Every player (and coach) needs to know their role, embrace their role, and star in their role to the best of their ability… no matter what that role is.
  9. Effective communication is vital. Talk often, talk loudly. Whether you’re in the game or on the bench, being silent is being selfish. Keep your huddle tight.
  10. Don’t worry about WHO scores, as long as your TEAM scores. Give up a good shot so a teammate can get a GREAT shot. Teams that play together and work together… win together.
  11. Your habits, your training, and your mental toughness are quickly revealed when the game is close. Proper preparation heightens poise and alleviates pressure. 
  12. Use time-outs strategically. Don’t ‘meet’ just to ‘meet.’ And don’t use time outs to berate your team or rehash the past. Use them to get aligned and provide clear action steps for when you take the court! 
  13. You don’t get any extra points for being flashy or stylish! Make the right play, not the ‘cool’ play. Embrace the fundamentals. You can’t win if you can’t pass and catch! 
  14. Conventional stats (points/rebounds/assists/steals/blocks) are only part of the story. Doing the little things well is what leads to the big things (boxing out, sprinting the floor, setting solid screens, making the extra pass, diving for loose balls).
  15. If your only leader is the head coach, you’re in deep trouble. A player led team will go further than a coach led team in the long run. Everything rises and falls with leadership. 
  16. EVERY. Possession. Matters.

Whether your business is a traditional powerhouse like Duke, Kansas, UNC, and UCLA or an unheard of, underrated ‘start-up’ like St. Peter’s, you can use these lessons to raise – and sustain – your game!