START PLAYING OFFENSE INSTEAD!
I’ve been a senior corporate executive and entrepreneur for the past 25 years. I started my first business at 16, selling cakes to send myself through college and became an Executive at 25. Over the years I have invested in and consulted for more than 100 other businesses. I have also coached and mentored hundreds if not thousands of entrepreneurs, CEOs and other business executives from all over the world. Big or small, FTSE or Fortune 500 or a startup of two people, the one thing I noticed with all these companies is that I approach business differently than most.
Where did my unique strategy come from?
One of my business mentor who was an avid basket player and once a basketball coach, told me about a style of playing basketball called the run-and-gun strategy also known as “The System.” This system is where players would just run and gun, and their offense would always outscore the other team.
I have watched numerous companies sidelined because they spend too much time on the defense, always reacting—“This happened, so we need to do that,” “this customer complained,” “there’s an internal issue with this.”
If you are only reacting to things, when are you moving your business forward?
It’s time to stop playing defense and go on the offense.
It’s a mindset that if adopted by you and/or by your company, will deliver results and phenomenal success every time. There are always opportunities to play offensively, especially if you’re a young, growing company. Sure, there will always be plenty of issues and flaws, but being on the offense helps you get past the issues and flaws.
Take, for example, the Facebooks and Pizza Express of the world; they all run their businesses on the offense. These companies certainly had their issues—the formula wasn’t quite right on that new menu or a negative-PR-machine-of-a-movie came out about the founder—but they each got past it because they focused on their strengths and their offensive system. I’m not saying you should ignore your problems, but consciously address them and use your strengths to move forward.
One of the ways of developing a offensive system for you or your business is by getting a coach or a mentor. I am talking about someone who has the tools and systems to help you develop the right offensive strategies for you or your business.
Research has shown that the return on investments of companies that invest in coaching and mentoring is seven times the initial investment.
Coaching and mentoring helps you and the business to target high performance and make significant transformation, as you will be more focused and forward planning (offensive play) rather that reactionary (defensive play).
When companies can focus on the offense, trying to take it to their opponent’s basket instead of defending their own, they’ll be way more prepared to do business in this fast-paced world. As the stakes get higher, as more people use social media to pick at you, you can’t be crippled by being defensive.
You need to be on the offense.