On any fall weekend there are thousands of high school, college and professional football games taking place. The average fan doesn’t realize something very important — every play in the offensive playbook is designed with one singular goal in mind. Touchdown.

That’s right, every single play is designed to score, to get into that end zone. The answer to accomplishing this is perfect execution. If all 11 offensive players executed their assignments as planned, the offense would score each and every time. But there are 11 defensive players on the other side of the ball and if the defense executes as planned, the end result is a turn over, no gain or loss of yards.

I know you are sitting there wondering how this all translates into the world of insurance consulting. Let’s break down the film:

  • Team: Without the right folks in the right roles (positions), the rest may not really matter.  Recruit and retain the best talent you possibly can and make sure they are in the role that will not only help the firm grow but will help them grow as individuals and business professionals.
  • Playbook: Know what your firm’s capabilities are. Do you specialize in a service, a product, an industry? Build the team that will support the firm, and most importantly, build the playbook that will drive the firm. For me, the playbook is how we will approach prospects and clients. So, I need to figure out what our story is and divide up each team members’ assignments. 
  • Practice: Like any successful team, practice will drive success. For our industry, this can come in many forms, like seminars that we not only attend but also host, sitting for continuing education classes, prospecting, outbound calls, emails and notes. The ability to reach out to a prospect and tell our story, to get that first meeting is the ideal mode of practice. One of the easiest places for us to practice is our weekly team meetings.
  • Execution: This is our game day. It can happen at a finalist meeting, renewal meeting, or monthly or quarterly stewardship meetings with clients. When the time comes, when it is time to play, walk into the room and make sure you have the right team by your side. Like in football offense, once the ball is snapped (the meeting starts) each team member thinks about perfect execution of their assignments and they realize that execution results in a score (a new or retained client).

The reality is that perfect execution does not always happen and the good news is that even without perfection you will win, you will score, you will advance the firm. In football, as in life, we have chances. We have 4 downs to go 10 yards. As individuals and teams and also, as an industry, let’s all commit to strive for perfect execution. Let’s all commit to building our teams, practicing and playing fairly. Let’s all realize that we will not win every opportunity but as many of our coaches and parents have said to us over the years, give it 110% each and every day. Most of all, execute as planned, practiced and prepared and I am sure that a win will come your way in many different ways.
Daboul is vice president of national accounts at Employee Family Protection, Inc. He can be reached at vad@efpnow.com.

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