What my sister’s soccer team taught me about business

It’s me again – your happy junior account executive, every day learning something they didn’t teach us in business school. But after all the money I paid for my MBA, would you believe I just got a great lesson from my younger sister’s soccer team? Here’s what happened.

Last weekend, her team played in a serious soccer tournament and got seriously clobbered. It was amazing. There they were – not a single less-than-stellar player on the team – and they didn’t score a single goal in all of their matches. Zip. Nada. It was a debacle, but it could have been avoided.

In May, when their regular coach finished college and got a real job, the team hired a former hot-shot pro player from the continent to coach them through the summer tournaments where college scouts would be watching.

For two years, the girls had done well with a well-organized zone defense. If you don’t follow soccer, this means defenders play a zone rather than a particular opponent. The new coach, Alberto, is a screamer with a version of man-to-man that turned out to resemble throwing everything at a wall to see what sticks.

My sister, an outside defender, loved the zone defense. The team had a clear structure and strategy, and every player understood her role. But when Alberto told them they were free to follow “their man,” some of the girls went nuts, sending the team structure right down the toilet.

Alberto isn’t one to sit the players down and talk tactics and strategy. He just let the girls loose on the field, expecting them to score goals. What he did was open the floodgates to grandstanding.

How else do you explain our center back ending up so out of position she ended up in the striker’s spot in front of the goal trying to score? (She missed. Twice.)

And that, my friends, led to a nothing short of spectacular set of passes by the other team that went right through the hole left by our center back, who was still out of position up front, right through our unprotected goalie’s hands and into the goal.

That’s how the weekend went. Even worse, it was so hot and the girls were so stressed out by the chaos that one even threw up. Another one broke down in tears. No comment. And the worse it got, the more Alberto stood on the sideline yelling, trying to micromanage.

Of course, his screaming didn’t work because nobody on my sister’s team had a clue what they were supposed to be doing or why they were supposed to be doing it. They weren’t synced. If they had been, they wouldn’t have been running insanely all over the field for three days, puking and crying and not scoring a single goal.

I’m glad I wasn’t on the team van for the ride home.

But back to the world of sales, marketing and growing a business. Isn’t this dysfunction what happens to companies that are not aligned behind a well-thought out message, strategy and tactics?

On the other hand, picture a company that is aligned. Imagine that company is your company. You have a plan that unifies your message so that everyone in your company understands what you do and why you do it, how what they do fits into the plan and why it matters. You’re so synced behind this message that everyone in your company– from the top to the bottom – gives the same message to people both inside and outside the company.

Being synced means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every digital marketing project, social media marketing campaign or blog post. With everybody knowing the key whats and whys, you’ll be able to deliver a consistent brand experience and convey a larger brand presence, which will help your sales people streamline and close faster.

Where I work, we call this being BizSynced. If you think being BizSynced could help your business grow, check out our suburban Atlanta marketing firm. We’ll look at every aspect of your marketing and pull it all together for you so you’ll have the tools to give the right message to the right people at the right time – every time. Unlike my sister’s soccer team, you’ll actually be able to score!

If you get involved with us, you’ll be so impressed you’ll almost think you’re at some swanky firm on Madison Avenue – minus the swank. But as I’ve told you before, I’m just a lowly junior account executive. So, lest you think I’m exaggerating, please check out BizSynced.



I’m a junior account executive with an MBA from a school you may have actually heard of. I plan to continue sharing my views on what works and what doesn’t in the world of branding and marketing as long as I have even one reader. I welcome all comments. If you have a particular topic you’d like me to expound on, email me at BuzzTalksBiz@gmail.com.

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