It’s football season! If Vince Lombardi was still around, I’d like to sit down with him and ask him some questions.
Some of you may not know who Vince Lombardi is. That’s too bad. For those that remember, a smile may have just passed your lips as you recall how Lombardi coached a bunch of “also-rans” in Green Bay, Wisconsin into Super Bowl Champions and left a legacy that will never die and never tarnish.
What could a football coach from the 60’s have to say that is relevant to running a car wash business today? Let’s have a listen. (quotes courtesy of vincelombardi.com)
Me: Thanks for spending some time with us today Coach Lombardi.
Coach: “You’re welcome. Now hurry up and ask your questions, we have a game on Sunday.”
Me: You often compare coaching a successful football team to running a successful business or life in general. What are some of the most similar traits?
Coach: “Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.
Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Me: So, for our readers who are trying to get their employees to buy-in to what they’re trying to do, what advice would you give them?
Coach: “In order to succeed, this group will need a singleness of purpose, they will need a dedication, and they will have to convince all of their prospects of the willingness to sacrifice.”
Me: Any advice for those who have made their businesses successful but now want to know how to stay that way?
Coach: “Sure, winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”
“Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him? A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Me: What about discipline?
Coach: “There is only one kind of discipline, and that is the perfect discipline. As a leader, you must enforce and maintain that discipline; otherwise, you will fail at your job. Also, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. “
Me: Last question; Any advice to young managers who are maybe just getting started in the business?
Coach: “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. Leadership is not just one quality, but rather a blend of many qualities; and while no one individual possesses all of the needed talents that go into leadership, each man can develop a combination to make him a leader.
No leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins battles. The battle decides all.”
Me: Ok, a follow up then so, winning is important?
Coach: “The objective is to win: fairly, squarely, decently, win by the rules, but still win. Second place is meaningless. You can’t always be first, but you have to believe that you should have been.”
Me: I hate to lose.
Coach: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”
I get the impression that Coach Lombardi wouldn’t have been a big fan of participation trophies.
Enjoy the season!
Bob Fox has 30 years industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at BFox@sonnysdirect.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.