Super Bowl-Caliber Performance

  1. January 29th, 2013  | 

  2. Print This Post
Published in Strategic Planning

How to Win in Business and in Football

To reach Super Bowl XLVII, 12 teams played 10 games.

Four storylines emerged that remind us of what it takes to win – in sports, in business, in life:

1.       Being favored guarantees nothing.  In the divisional playoff game between Baltimore and Denver, the Ravens stunned the heavily favored Broncos, who became the seventh #1 seed in the last six years to lose their first playoff game.  The other six were the Dallas Cowboys (2007), the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans (2008), the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots (2010) and the Green Bay Packers (2011).  New England quarterback Tom Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime before the Ravens shut him down.  When you’re #1, someone is looking to knock you off.

      2.       Trust your gut.  In mid-season, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made the risky move of benching Alex Smith, who had taken the team to last year’s conference championship game, in favor of Colin Kaepernick.  Many questioned the move, but Harbaugh knew exactly what he was doing.  In Kaepernick’s first career playoff game, the 25-year old San Francisco quarterback set the NFL single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback and the 49ers postseason rushing record for any position with 181 yards and two touchdowns.  He also passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns.  As the leader, the credit or blame is ultimately yours, so you might as well do what you believe is right.

3.       It’s not over until it’s over. Both the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers played from behind in each of their divisional playoff games before winning.  The 49ers overcame a 17-point deficit against Atlanta, the largest comeback ever in an NFC championship game.  Give significant opportunities everything you’ve got.

      4.       Dream big.  Brothers John and Jim Harbaugh become the first brother-versus-brother coaching matchup in the 57-year history of the Super Bowl.  Jim Harbaugh took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in only his second year as a head coach.  John Harbaugh, who became the Ravens head coach in 2008, said that growing up, he and his brother “had a few dreams, a few fights. We had a few arguments.  Just like all brothers.  I don’t know if we had a dream this big.”   When you dream of possibilities, dream big.

Consider these reminders as you and your team work your plan to achieve the objectives you’ve set for 2013.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

Ready to reset?

Attend my free Accountability webinar: I Did It! to set and achieve your 2021 goals.


  • February 17th from 11 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time
  • My free webinar will help you:
    – Sharpen your personal goals
    – Improve time management
    – Tackle tough work-related issues
    – Support remote workers

Learn More
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”

Get The Book

Become a better leader.

Download my three free e-books.

Greg Bustin

Please enter your information below to access a digital download link for my three free eBooks. Once submitted, you will receive an email with a link to download the eBooks.

Free Tips

Sign up to receive free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Greg Bustin

Please enter your information below to start receiving free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Sign up for my free bimonthly email button