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What Business Lessons Can Be Gained from the Latest Super Bowl?

If you are a sports fan it was hard not to enjoy Super Bowl LI, unless you were an Atlanta fan. As we reflect on the game it is interesting how it mirrored business and offers valuable insight into critical lessons that we all can benefit from. The obvious lesson from Super Bowl LI is simple: Never Give Up.

Let’s examine some of the specific lessons the game presented:

Tunnel Vision/Follow Your Game Plan – In the first half, Atlanta dominated with a well thought out and executed strategy. Then they became conservative and the flow of the game changed. Their competition(Pats) didn’t change their game plan. They made changes inside their plan to adapt to the current conditions. They didn’t modify the overall goal, they stayed laser focused on the result. Has that ever happened to your business? Sometimes we achieve success and forget what variables created that success. When your game plan is working, trust it, keep focused on it and don’t let your foot off the gas.

Cool Under Pressure/Rely on Strategy not Emotion – How many of you have felt like the Patriots in the first half; getting pounded and outplayed by your competition? Many business people tend to panic and lose their cool. Successful people stay calm under pressure and do not over-react to situations. All events are inherently neutral, we put a positive or negative spin on them. Brady and Belichick were calm, quickly analyzed the situation, then adapted and executed a successful game plan. When situations like this affect your company, take a step back, take a deep breath and focus on a solution, not worrying about the situation. Remember, there are no problems, just opportunities for solutions.

Mistakes Aren’t fatal – Dale Carnegie once said; “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way”. How many mistakes did the Patriots make in the first half? Mistakes are inevitable in both our personal and business life. It is how we respond to each mistake that will mold who we are and how successful our business will become. So, how can we best handle this situation.

  • Acknowledge – admit that you made a mistake, it happens
  • Apologize – to whom it is appropriate to
  • Opportunity – view it has a positive opportunity for the better, not a negative
  • Solution – use creative thinking to come up with one or more solutions
  • Action – implement your solutions and monitor feedback
  • Move on – do not continue to relive the mistake, you have already acknowledged it, so don’t dwell on it

The Patriots could have become emotional about their mistakes, but they regrouped with a successful solution and found a way to win the game.

Success Isn’t Final – The Patriots are the Super Bowl champions, but players and coaches are already hard at work preparing for next season. Far too many companies tend to rest on their success, feeling they have finally made it, as Atlanta did when they went up 25 points. As soon as that mentality sets it, you can be guaranteed a competitor is planning and working twice as hard as you to become number 1. Congratulate yourself on your success and get right back to planning and execution. Napoleon Hill said it best: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination of success”.


Scott Stickel is the Managing Partner and CEO of Profit Street, an online software analytics company specifically designed for franchises. Profit Street offers automated business informational processing via predictive analytics and prescriptive solutions to help increase franchisee profit margins. Scott can be reached at

Markus Stickel is the Managing Partner and Chief Analytics Officer of Profit Street. He is a recognized leader within the franchise industry, with over 25 years’ experience consulting with over 300 companies on business operations. He can be reached at

To learn more about Profit Street go to:

Scott Stickel CEO - Profit Street, LLC.
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