3 Business Lessons You Should Learn From Nick Saban

After several weeks of hand wringing by Alabama fans (count me in), Coach Nick Saban recently signed a contract extension that is likely to make him college football’s first 7M a year coach. 

Because of the increased attention, I felt like now was a good time to take a look at 3 business lessons you can take from the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

1. Time and Place are Important: Nick Saban has always been a star coach. He was a rising star at Michigan State and a star at LSU, but since taking over as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Saban has become someone that is talked about as possibly the greatest coach ever. 

How does this apply to business? 

Time and place are extremely important. You can have a great service, product, or idea and if the timing or the placement aren’t right…you can fail or not find the right amount of success. So keep in mind that sometimes the timing or place aren’t right and don’t get bogged down in each failure. 

2. 24 Hour Rule: Saban emphasizes a 24 hour rule around his program that says no matter if you win or lose, you only reflect on the game for 24 hours before you begin working again on the next game or project. 

This easily applies to business because we have all been in situations where we nailed a huge contract, a big sale, or had something bad happen. No matter, up or down, don’t let too much time get between you and getting back to work…don’t lose momentum. 

3. “The Process”: Nick Saban is known around college football for his adherence to a philosophy called “The Process.” I’m not sure if he as every explicitly laid out his process in full, but from interviews and asides…everything counts and you focus on process based goals allowing the end result to determine itself, but not because of lack of effort. 

This is another thing that is really applicable in your business because here is the thing, when I work with clients I often find poor processes in place or areas where processes have whittled away from being well thought out and executed. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to find your process based goals and find ways to effectively work towards them…then repeat that process all the way through your goal. Over time, what was difficult will become routine. And I am sure you will begin to see better results if you focus on processes and not so much on outcomes. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or on some other aspect of Nick Saban’s coaching that you use to apply to business.

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