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This weekend, football fans will gather around their televisions to see which new players will be joining their team for the upcoming season. Many of these rising stars will be household names in a few months, and others will have their one moment of fame with a one-handed touchdown catch or a key interception to send their team to the playoffs.

While fans are celebrating the newest additions to their roster, entire organizations are sweating to make the right pick. The future of the franchise – and their jobs – depend on the development, training, and management of their selections.

No pressure, right?

The owner hires his operations teams to make a slew of high-stakes decisions throughout the year. The best NFL franchises have highly-organized, behind the scenes operations. Usually, they include:

The General Manager: The GM oversees all aspects of the football team; essentially, the CEO of the football team. He has the final say on whether to select that block-shedding linebacker or the cannon-armed quarterback.

The Head Coach: The head coach reports to the GM and oversees all operational activities. Those can range from practice schedules to whether to throw that challenge flag. He also must be the face of the organization to the media.

The Coordinators: Whether offense, defense, special teams, or sports medicine, these leaders are responsible for executing the strategy for every game.

The Players: Each player has a defined role, whether that’s tackling a 230-pound running back, drilling a 53-yard field goal from the right hash, or making the highlight reel with a game-winning touchdown catch.

Clearly, it’s not just about one person. It took the general manager drafting that receiver, the head coach developing a strategy around him, the coordinators training him for that moment, and the player running his route correctly to succeed. High-performing teams require leadership, defined roles, and a commitment to the team. Here’s how those play out for your organization:

Leadership: Strong leadership is absolutely necessary for the effective operation of any team. A good leader will know his team, their needs, how they like to be rewarded, and what corrective actions work. This is the first step toward success.

Defined Roles: How often do you see two defensive backs arguing over whose responsibility it was to cover that wide-open receiver who just ran 65 yards into the end zone? How about twice in one game? A bad team will have these lapses often and a good team will have fewer slip-ups, but the great ones will solve the issues well before the game begins.

Besides, turf should be what you play on, not what you fight over.

Commitment to the Team: In the NFL, a team achieves its best results when all members share a vision and collectively feel trust in each other. Good leadership and a shared vision help contribute to a workplace where all participants feel part of the organization.

So, when you’re watching the draft tonight or watching your team fight for the playoffs next fall, take a minute to think about all the work that goes into that game-winning tackle. Then, when you’re back at work Monday, see if you can apply the same lessons to your team. Are you leading well enough? Does everyone understand their roles appropriately? Are there any turf wars on your team? Does everyone buy into your vision?

If they aren't operating as effectively as possible, these guidelines may be helpful. They might even make your operation less of a coin flip, too. Regardless of your current game plan, please take advantage of the complimentary facility risk assessment below. Feel free to learn more about Integrated Facility Management (IFM) as well. 

Brian Lillard has 30 years of real-estate and facilities experience in a range of industries including corporate, healthcare, and education. Prior to becoming Vice President and Business Unit Manager of Facilities, he served as Chief Operating Officer from 2009-2018.

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