Business Lessons from Nick Saban

By January 6, 2013 No Comments

It’s no secret that I am an Alabama fan. And I’m not the kind of fan that just lives in the state of Alabama so I had to pick between Alabama and Auburn, and I look better in crimson than in orange so I picked Alabama.

I have been true to the tide in good times and in bad. And I mean really bad. In the 4 years I was at the University of Alabama getting my undergraduate degree, I had 4 different head coaches and my freshman year, we went 3-8.

But in the past few years, I have seen drastic changes. Alabama football went from having terrible seasons with mediocre coaches, to in winning 2 SEC championships and 2 National Championships with the possibility of a 3rd this year.

All of this to say, I think there is a lot to learn from a coach who can turn a losing, pathetic, lazy team into a championship team. And call me crazy (or maybe a crazy Alabama fan!), but I think the system that Coach Nick Saban puts into practice can be used in the business world as well.

Love him or hate him, you have to respect that he knows how to run a successful team. And in my opinion, he knows how to run a business. Here are a few of the keys to success that I have studied about Nick Saban that I think can be applied to any business.

  • Focus on the little, everyday tasks. Saban teaches his players and staff the ‘process focus’. In order to win or have success, you can’t just focus on the big goal. In order to achieve the goal, perfect ‘the process’ or the little things you do every day. For example, I am recruiter here at Daxko and sometimes I might have a hiring goal of 16 people in a month. To follow the ‘process focus’ way of thinking,  I will need to break down this goal in to the little things I do every day like calling, evaluating assessments, prescreening, and interviewing and do those things to the very best of my ability in order to reach the end-goal.
  • Hire/recruit the right people. Obviously recruiting the best talent that fits your company/team is important. At Daxko we like to think we always get 5 star recruits. But it’s also important to recruit ‘like-minded’ individuals. When the Alabama players are interviewed, it is easy to tell that they all believe in the same goal, and believe in the process to get to that goal.

Having team members that believe in the purpose or mission statement for your company is imperative for success. At Daxko, our mission is ‘to provide technology and services that contribute significantly to the success of our customers and to provide Daxko team members with rewarding careers’. We hire people who are not only talented at what they do, but also have a passion to help our customers (non-profits) and see the benefit of having a rewarding career.

For me this means when it gets hard and nothing is going your way, never quit and never complain. That seems pretty simple to say or to write, but to put it into practice is a challenge. Always striving towards the goal and keeping it going through the hard times is critical in being effective in what you do.

If you focus on the process, work with like-minded individuals, work as a team, and are relentless in the face of adversity, I believe you will be successful just like a championship football team. Maybe even as successful as a certain coach who I got these principles from.

Roll Tide!

Julie S. loves cold Peanut MnMs and is a Disney Princess masquerading as a Talent Scout at Daxko.

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