Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

By this point you’re probably tired of talking about Super Bowl 51.

Perhaps you’ve heard a little too much about how Atlanta choked it away or maybe you’ve had a few too many managers mention that “anything is possible” after watching the Patriots incredible fourth quarter comeback.

By this point you already know how the game ended and why New England quarterback Tom Brady is being called the greatest of all time, (or G.O.A.T. which explains how animals got a mention in a few of those conversations.)

So at this point, here’s what I’d like you to realize about Super Bowl 51 – you probably make the same mistakes in business that the Atlanta Falcons made in the second half of that game. Which means you’ve probably dealt with more tough losses in business that you realize.

How’s that for a sobering thought?

If the only conversations you’ve had about the Super Bowl are about the game itself, then you’re missing a couple bigger business lessons.

  1. Little things add up. For the Atlanta Falcons those “little things” were seconds. Had Matt Ryan utilized the entire play clock late in the game the game would have had a different outcome. The 10-15 seconds left on the clock on a few plays dramatically changed how the final minutes played out.

Business lesson: It’s easy to say that little things add up, but is that just something you say or something you believe and analyze? Sports offers real-time accountability and data in a way that business can’t. You can measure the impact of seconds in a football game. What’s the “little things” you should be paying attention to in your business or your day-to-day responsibilities? Are you willing to let those little things slide on occasion because even though they add up, they don’t matter that much? Bet the Falcons wished they wouldn’t have let those things slide.

2. Having conviction doesn’t make you right. During the 2016 season the Atlanta Falcons utilized aggressive play-calling and rank among most explosive offenses in the entire NFL. The aggressive play-calling continued in the second half of the Super Bowl instead of running the ball, and running down the clock. The style that brought them the most success during the season and the style they were most convicted to use, ended up to be a liability on the biggest stage.

Business Lesson: I admire conviction. Personal convictions are important. Being convicted about certain business philosophies and strategies can keep you focused and on the right track. BUT that doesn’t mean you’re always going to win. Either be willing to be flexible at times or be willing to accept the outcome of your convictions.

As much as sports is about stats and outcomes, sports also gives you a different context to view leadership, performance, accountability and business strategies. Every scenario you see in sports can translate to a business setting and vice versa. If you need help identifying examples or making sports useful in business make sure you leave your name in the box marked “Let’s Do This!” Or you could hire me for an engaging outside-the-box business communication presentation. Contact me via email

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, serves as the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks – which means she knows what it’s like to be in the locker room after a gut-wrenching Super Bowl loss. She’s also a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. Jen founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and advocates using sports conversations as a business tool.