First, I have to admit – I love pro football. Growing up with Cincinnati Bengals www.bengals.com made it easy to jump on the bandwagon at an early age. Having a family who celebrates Sunday afternoon games as if they were holiday dinners reinforces that enjoyment.
Joining a fantasy football league that talks more trash than your local garbage collector…well, that turns the love into an addictive obsession. Over many years of drafting, trading and following statistics, I have garnered a few business lessons from the passion that is fantasy football.
So, here are a few of the best from my play book:
Be prepared. I realize the wonderful Boy Scouts probably deserve most of the credit for this motto (information about our regional BSA headquarters may be found at www.danbeard.org ), but it is equally applicable to fantasy football and the wonderful world of meetings.
Show up to the 2011 draft not knowing that Peyton Manning was out indefinitely recovering from a neck fusion surgery and drafting him in the first round, you will certainly be on your way to winning the rubber chicken trophy. A similar fate will await you by arriving at a meeting without completing your tasks, reading the latest activity reports, or failing to be up to date on the topic at hand. It only takes one absolutely foolish early round draft pick and the smack talk that follows to make you realize you can be a better team owner (and in the work place, team player) than that.
Be timely. For nearly all decision making discussions, setting a time limit focuses the content and keeps the meeting moving forward. Good brainstorming activities, weighing pros and cons and even narrowing strategic alternatives all merit thorough vetting of ideas. There may become a moment where your team prolongs the discussion to the point of making a very poor use of time. Occasionally you have to decide between drafting an Arian Foster or a Calvin Johnson. When you are only given a limit of five minutes, you must quickly narrow who best fits your fantasy team: who has a bye in which week and who has a good offensive line to support them. Ultimately, the show must go on – be thorough in your research, but be timely in your decisions.
Be enthusiastic. Realizing that board room cheerleading is not the expectation, nor the desire of this concept. Positive team support and encouragement goes a long way to make a team effective. Our team recently read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (link to: www.amazon.com/The-Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership/dp/0787960756 ) by Patrick Lencioni, a book which effectively illustrates five major characteristics of a dysfunctional team: lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results.
I think our RMC team is quite high in the ‘trust’ category – and part of this positivity comes from our constant support, encouragement and enthusiasm for each other and our work. While I do think our fantasy football league would make an interesting role model for Lencioni’s discussion, I firmly believe the constant competitive ribbing and even praise for a clever draft/trade that our league enjoys, makes for an enjoyable ride along the way and ultimately serves as the best incentive to come back next year season ready to dominate!
It is now that wonderful time of the year – #FantasyFootballDraft! When you get caught checking your fantasy stats Monday morning, just tell your boss you are researching how to make your team meetings more effective! (use www.fantasynews.cbssports.com/fantasyfootball/rankings for up to the minute effective draft selections)