When the Major League Baseball season began a couple of weeks ago every team was in first place with equal visions of winning the World Series Championship.
That same week the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Champions were crowned.
In mid-April the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association playoff tournaments begin to crown those leagues respective champions.
The only thing certain in pursuing a championship in athletic competition is how that championship is defined. Everything else on the journey towards that championship is steeped in uncertainty.
Winning a championship takes hard work, much harder work with even more focus and intensity than achieving great results during the regular season. Plus, it takes some luck regarding key players staying healthy and getting some bounces to go your way.
Often, the odds-on favorite to win the championship gets disappointed. This year the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team lost in the NCAA Final Four semi-finals, ending their undefeated season knocking them out of the single elimination tournament.
Winning a championship by being the last team standing at the end of a long season and long playoff tournament is extremely difficult to achieve. Yet, it can be argued that sustained championship caliber performance occurs by many teams along the journey, until they face a more talented, focused, and committed opponent, or a bounce at a key moment goes the other way.
But, for the fate of the coaches paid to win a championship, getting close, finishing second often just isn’t good enough.
The good news for small business leaders wanting to generate high-performance results leading to greater productivity and profits for their companies, achieving championship caliber performance is much easier to achieve.
Unless there is a strong need to dominate the marketplace in a product category, small businesses need not worry about competing with another company offering similar products.
All any small business leader needs to worry about it is competing with themselves.
Leaders of small businesses should be developing company strategies to define championship caliber performance as being better than previous performance, by practicing constant and never-ending improvement in specific, measurable ways.
When a small business defines their championship vision in those terms they can’t lose, they’ll win their championship every year.
That is why it is easier to achieve championship level results in small business than it is in athletics.
The competition is simply about being the best you can be. The key is for the small business leader and other team members to be honest with themselves and measure appropriately.