What Sports has Taught us About Business

We learn a lot about life and business from sports. This often gets overlooked because I believe people think it’s just too simple. Well it is, that’s the beauty of it. Any business is only as good as the people performing the everyday tasks, they collectively make up that business. A collection of people working toward a common goal is a team any way shape or form you decide to put them in. There are certain inherent traits of any successful team, just like in a business.


Not to burst anyone’s bubble but that’s what sports is today but they have actually become big businesses. The NFL is a business and if a team isn’t performing well changes are made for the team to win and ultimately, make more money. A team that performs well, wins a lot, wins leads to fan support which leads to revenue for that franchise owner. That is the goal of any business to make make money and that comes from your team performing well. Team performance will dictate overall success. So not only do teams function like businesses, teams literally have become businesses! Leaders are valued and every action is made with winning in mind!


Everyone doing their job


For a football team to function all 11 members must do their job to be successful. If one member runs the wrong play or misses a tackle, it doesn’t matter how well the other 10 guys do their job. The same is true in business, if everyone doesn’t do their job the whole team can get derailed on a project. Everyone must understand this and see the importance of completing their job the best the can. Sometimes one person can perform so well that others mistakes get overlooked. It is important to look for this and to find and correct every details that may be getting overlooked for the greater good of the team’s long term future. One star player can get you to the playoffs but only great teams win championships.




Success in any sport comes from the whole team playing together in unison. One person not doing their job can cost everyone. That is how how a business functions as well, requiring strong leadership to ensure that the team firing on all cylinders 24/7. At Strong College Students we have a lot of staff members that work here because they are all student movers, with the student always coming first. As a result of this we have a larger team and playing in unison becomes critical. Everyone must be on the same page with policy changes and new information that may apply to someone’s work day. We have software and systems in place to ensure frequent communication to keep everyone on the same page. We, like many other organizations, function at their best when everyone is on the same page working toward the same goal.




Every great team has a great leader, normally in the form on a coach or general manager.  Don Shula, Bill Walsh, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, They were all the leaders for their team and in business it is the leader who crafts the plan, puts the pieces together and puts everyone in the position to do whatever it is that they do just like sports.


Great Leadership starts at the top at Strong College Students. Our CEO always makes sure he is involved with the way in which day to day operations are going to ensure any problems are quickly resolved and customers are always receiving the highest level of customer service. We also have a leadership development program as we have many staff members in leadership positions. We want to make sure that each crew has a great leader at the helm each day and that each home and office moving team has the very best team that they can be. We know that everyone will be in a leadership position at some point in their life and we prepare them for that. Leadership is skill that takes time to craft and only by experience, and with great people around you can a great leader be great.



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Habits of Great Managers

“In A study by Dale Carnegie Training revealed that nearly three-quarters of employees are not fully engaged at work. Of those who are, the number one factor that contributes to employee engagement is their relationship with their immediate supervisor.” (1.Five Things Great Managers Do Every Day) So that raises the question, how do you create a good managerial relationship without being walked all over like a doormat. Have a commanding authority while at the same time have people view you as a friend and someone who cares. How can you get the most out the staff while not having to worry about being too soft and getting taken advantage of? How do you become that manager that gets written up in Forbes and is writing books about how they manage their workers? At Strong College Students we face this challenge everyday. We are managing a staff of college students movers who need a lot of accommodation with their constantly changing school schedule. We strive to create a family atmosphere within our organization while still making sure our staff is developing as leaders as well as responsible staff members.


Many will make excuses that there company can’t function like that, that it is different for their industry, that it’s impractical. There are a few rules and principles I will outline that will allow you to have your own unique style while still getting the most out of your workers. They will allow you to be respected and have control yet still create friend and manager relationship with your staff. It won’t matter what industry you’re in, if you’re selling glue sticks or running a fortune 500 company.


Be Yourself- People know when you are being yourself and when you are faking it. Managing with that authenticity is a big part of people buying into what you’re selling. When people can read you and know what your intentions are they may let their guard down a little and not always be on the defensive worrying about their manager taking advantage of their good nature. This will allow your workers to be themselves as well creating a comfortable work environment for everyone.


With a staff of student movers we are dealing with a variety of personalities and motives amongst our staff. Everyone comes from a different background and being ourselves as managers is the only consistent way to quickly gain their respect. They can quickly pick up on the nature of your personality and see your motives. We have staff coming and going quickly with students graduating each semester. With each class of student movers coming in each year it’s imperative to gain their respect quickly and being yourself as a manager expedites that process greatly.


Be Direct- When dealing with an issue, deal with it directly. This means not beating around the bush. Don’t ask Jim and Sally why Joe’s sales are so low. Ask Joe why Joe’s sales are so low and from there work on a solution. Being direct increases worker/manager communication as well as gives each worker a sense of individualism while letting them know they are respected enough to be spoken with in such a straightforward manner. This is especially true when dealing with conflict. Always be direct and handle things immediately. Don’t wait for stories to twist, issues to be forgotten about and days to go by until things are simply forgotten about. Deal with conflicts immediately and directly.


At Strong College Students we depend on our crew leaders to report back to management on a variety of issues. Uppermanagemt must be direct with them on what information we need as well as their response be direct with us to ensure customer satisfaction and safety in the workplace at all times. Direct communication helps us deliver the highest quality student movers for the highest quality moving services.


Don’t just manage, lead- Anyone can manage but it takes a special set of skills to lead. A manager role can crumble from a slight breeze because of a lacking leadership foundation.  It’s important to stay positive and not complain. Complaining shows weakness, as the manger it is your duty to solve problems. If you are complaining about a problem and not solving them, now who is left to turn to. A manager who doesn’t complain and who will find answers instead of excuses will be the one viewed as a true leader. Once you are viewed as a true leader you gain a certain respect from your followers, which if you gain enough of, you will have an army behind you waiting on your next command.


No typical day at Strong College Students is the same. We are always traveling to different parts of town to service new clients which is why we value leadership so highly. Anyone can move be a mover but a trained mover whose in great physical condition, combines with a great leadership to really create an unforgettable moving experience. It is that leadership that we depend on from our moving crew leaders to be able to keep our standard of service so high.


Delegating to the right people- Everyone has their own specific strengths and weaknesses. great managers realize this and ensure that there staff is always in a position to display their strengths, not their weaknesses. Certain people are better at certain things then others and the team will be much more productive when everyone is doing what they’re best at. If you are not good at one specific thing then it doesn’t make much sense for that to be a major part of your job role. Recognizing this and using this strategy to assemble your team is critical to efficiency and overall productivity.


At Strong College Students we place people in positions to display their talents and succeed. We evaluate our staff physically and mentally to make sure they are able to complete the job role at the highest level before they become a member of our team. We have an organizational structure where everyone can have a specific responsibility based on their specific strengths and educational background to maximize everyone’s effectiveness.


Hold regular, meaningful one on ones- In  our age of technology texting and email can take over communication and without realizing it you may have not heard your manager’s voice in a few weeks. Meaningful one on ones give your staff a chance to speak only to you. To air out any issues that may be going on honestly, without judgement from their co workers. It allows them to be themselves, express how they see the organization functioning while simultaneously improving your relationship with them, giving them a regular outlet to help solve problems and innovate.


We utilize web chats at Strong College Students to ensure that one on ones take place frequently. Due to our student movers being just that, Students. Everyone is on different schedules and matching up times for a meeting can be challenging, which web chats help alleviate the stress of. We make sure that upper management is always connected and that everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard.


Don’t just manage, lead. Solve problems, be direct and put your staff in positions to succeed at the highest level. Build relationships and communicate regularly. You must perform all small tasks at the highest level before you have success at the highest level.


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Leading With Accountability

There is no “right” way to lead, everyone has their own ideas and beliefs about leadership.There are however, certain traits that are undeniable traits of leaders. Accountability being one of them and breeding an accountable staff is critical to growing leaders. At Strong College Students everyone is in a leadership position. Everyone has tasks that they are accountable for and a breakdown in accountability can be devastating.


An accountable leader knows two things. One, they need a clear expectation set and two, they know any given task will require their full responsibility.




Setting a clear goal states exactly what will get done and when it will be complete. Clarity is power, especially when leading, which is why accountable leaders need a deadline. In many settings, ambiguous terms get tossed around and managers don’t realize how certain words or phrases can be interpreted differently depending on the individual.


The “end of the week,” “best” or even “completed” can be interpreted very differently. Is the end of the week friday? Is it the best I can do today, with my current resources? Is complete just mean written up in my computer, or formatted properly and ready to be presented to investors? A small communication can lead to big time confusion and  most companies and especially startups can’t afford to be making such mistakes where anyone could be their demise. Set a clearly defined finish line so everyone is on the same page eliminating any confusion.


Taking Responsibility


When someone takes responsibility for a task, many other things happen simultaneously. You become empowered, you officially become the leader, your mindset even changes. You think more competitively as you now know it’s personal, you’re reputation is on the line and you want to impress!. Every time anyone takes responsibility for a task you are taking on an opportunity. An opportunity to show people what you can do, how you can lead, how competently you are at that specific task and so on. You stop looking outward for answers and start looking at what YOU can do to solve current problems. The empowerment that this leads to is when your natural leadership juices really start flowing.


From a managerial perspective you learn a lot about your workers when they are given full responsibility for a task. Can they handle it? How well did they handle it? You will find that some may need to take a slower approach and some may be ready to take on even more responsibility because they knocked that out of the park. Either way that is how leaders are crafted, through learning from experience gained by completing tasks in real time.


Living Through Accountability


At Strong College Students we empower all of our staff to lead each day. The crew is in complete control of satisfying a customer’s needs that day as well as being responsible for all of their equipment, inventory, even down to the truck they drive. They have full responsibility and know the common goal, to graduate our customers to an enjoyable, memorable and fun moving experience!


Accountability is contagious. Once one person starts taking responsibility everyone starts following, the effect is quickly compounded. Everyone is accountable for something at their job whether you are conscious of it or not. If you want to see changes around your workplace or in your life start setting clear deadlines for yourself and take responsibility. Then make sure you let people know about it! When you let others know this gives you added strength. Others will stand behind you and will hold you accountable when you get weak or tired. They will pull you through when times get tough.


An accountable worker sets an example and is a leader no matter what. People are drawn to the courage and will begin to look to you to solve problems. This is how leaders are bred. You want to lead or make a difference? Hold yourself accountable and set an example. As an example is set and the rest of your staff sees the expectation a standard is understood and a culture is born.
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