The Westchester County Association scored a huge win last week at its Annual Leadership Dinner, where a sold-out crowd of 700 people honored leaders Jon B. Schandler, CEO, White Plains Hospital, and Joseph Simone, President, Simone Development Companies, for their contributions to Westchester business.
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., President/CEO for the 2014 NY/NJ Superbowl Host Committee, brought the house down after his keynote speech, in which he made a convincing case that the Super Bowl—expected to bring over $550 million in economic benefit to the region—is much, much more than a game: It’s a platform for economic development; infrastructure acceleration; corporate citizenship; driving community pride and leaving a lasting legacy.
Kelly also described how the game of football had three very specific applications to business:
1. Fundamentals matter. In football and in business, fundamentals matter and they make all the difference, Kelly said. Talent, planning, clear goals and milestones, quality measurement tools, leadership and courage are what it takes.
“Football teams study the competition,” Kelly said. “Do you know everything you can about your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities? Are you serious about trying every tactic you can for your business to win?”
2. The score matters. “Every team and every player knows exactly where they stand every week from the information gathered and statistics produced in papers and online. Make sure your employees have clear goals and know how progress is tracked in order to have a clear scorecard as a pathway to success,” Kelly advised.
3. Defeat generates change. When the going gets tough, change your game plan. In football, Kelly said, teams are quick to course correct after a loss, but too often, business is slow to accept failure. “Leadership is not easy and it requires courage to make changes with urgency,” he said.
All businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies could benefit by following Kelly’s playbook. It’s a winning formula.