What The Saints Can Teach Us About Success

SaintsNot only did the New Orleans Saints win the 44th Super Bowl to become world champions, they won the hearts and minds of a nation rallying for the comeback of one of the world’s most beloved cities. To the surprise of millions, but not to their long-suffering and loyal fans, this team and the city they call home overcame every kind of adversity imaginable to hoist the Lombardi trophy and earn the admiration of their fans.

There are a few things we can learn from the New Orleans Saints, and their head coach, Sean Payton, about success. It takes a lot more than a handful of great players and months of drills to create a winning team like the Saints.

If you are looking to create huge success in your business, look no further than these takeaways from the Super Bowl champs:

Hold a Bigger Vision and Know Your “Why” – Sure they were playing for themselves and their teammates. Sure they were playing for their coach. But the bigger vision that the Saints held for the entire season – and what brought them to the Super Bowl – was the love and respect for their city and their fans. The team’s bigger “why” was the city and the people of New Orleans.
Make sure you are clear about your vision for your business and WHY you are in business in the first place.

Don’t Get Sidetracked By Temporary Setbacks
– One bad game. An injured player. A flooded city. This team came up against obstacles and challenges on a regular basis, but they never wavered or lost their vision. With focus and determination, they never lost sight of their end goal.
Setbacks and challenges are inevitable, defeat is not.

Focus on Collaboration and Teamwork, Not Individual Gain – The Saints are a tight-knit crew. From the outside looking in, they were often viewed as a motley cast of characters – a once-injured quarterback, a washed-up tight end and a slew of undrafted athletes. Boy did they prove everyone wrong. And they knew it. Capitalizing on underestimation, they focused on collaboration and teamwork, not individual egos or personal gain. Players shared equal time on the field and the ball was touched by many. Drew Brees became the glue that held everyone together and the team quickly realized they were much more powerful as a cohesive unit.
Check your ego at the door and realize you can’t do it all alone.

Find A Mentor
– Sean Payton believes in his team and he showed it time and time again with the risks he took on the field. A coach who has faith that his boys are winners is willing to go for it on fourth and two; take a chance on the extra two points and allow an on-side kick that creates a turnover and puts points on the scoreboard. Payton consistently showed his players that he knew they were up for the task, and ultimately, they lived up to his vision.
Find a mentor who believes in you and is willing to hold your bigger vision on days that you can’t see it.

Never, Never, Never Give Up – Winston Churchill may have said it first, but the New Orleans Saints have been living it for years. From fumbled balls and injured players, to fans with brown bags on their heads, to a Superdome with holes in the ceiling, a drowned city and talks of a relocation, this team has overcome every type of adversity imaginable. But they never gave up.
Even during your darkest hour when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hold your bigger vision and never, never, never give up. We often experience our greatest breakthroughs as we make our way through difficult challenges.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2010

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