Look the Ball into Your Hands

brand-as-business bit:   In one of a string of disappointing Chargers games a few weeks ago, a receiver (who shall remain nameless) provided an instructive, but unfortunate illustration about business – the importance of closure in business, specifically.

You see, as the receiver went to make catch, he pivoted to start running too quickly and the ball slipped through his fingers.  What could have been a touchdown turned out to be another down for the opposing team, who went on to win the game by fewer than seven points.   The replays were agonizing to watch.

As I watched the receiver think he had completed the pass and move on too soon, I was reminded of the ways people and companies make the same mistake:

  • A company launches a new product and immediately turns its attention to creating the next new thing before ensuring the first product works as it should.
  • A customer service rep solves a customers’ problem, but doesn’t bother to check if the customer is indeed satisfied.
  • A sales team finally closes a difficult sale and then botches the transition to the team who will be managing the account.

In all of these examples, and countless others, the desire to move on to the next trumps the perseverance to see things through.  Without commitment to closure, the most critical things – like footballs – are likely to slip through the cracks.

My husband informed me the receiver’s mistake was a great example of why they teach players to “look the ball into your hands.”  It seems a good practice for companies as well.

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