Reversal of Fortunes – the sports version

“One ought to lose the game by a card too much than by a card too little.”

What a difference a year makes.  The Miami Dolphins finished the season last year with a dismal 1-15 record, and have this year’s 0-16 Lions to thank for helping sports fans forget their ineptitude.  Fast forward one year.  The Dolphins finish the season with a 11-5 record, and are in the playoffs.

The Dolphins only scored 78 more points this year than last, yet they turned their season around in a remarkable way.  And they did it with Chad Pennington at quarterback – the same Chad that threw only 82 TD passes in 69 games with the New York Jets.  The same Chad that threw 55 interceptions in those same 69 games.

How does this happen?  Many say that the Miami turnaround can be attributed to the leadership of Bill Parcells, who took over as EVP of football operations for the Dolphins in December 2007.   More than being a great motivator and leader, Parcells is known to have a knack for spotting and developing talent.  Winning in football – and in business – takes having the right players in the right positions, and having depth behind them.  Relying on one star player is a risky proposition – just ask the 9-7 Jets, who let Pennington go so they could sign Brett Favre.

Great teams don’t always win, as last year’s Patriots proved in the Super Bowl.  But I’d rather lose a game with too much talent than lose because we didn’t have talented players in every single position.

Spotting and developing talent is not easy, but devoting time and resources to it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

~ by chuckmattina on January 2, 2009.

One Response to “Reversal of Fortunes – the sports version”

  1. I like the thinking here and also the perspective on sports. I love books by coaches more than business execs because of the passion and had never seen the two brought together this way. BRAVO!

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