Lessons in Start Up Leadership from Ohio State University
What Ohio State did last night was nothing short of amazing. In fact this whole season was pretty amazing. I will let you read the stories and articles that will tell it's tale. However what they may not talk about is the incredible lessons that we can take away and apply as start up founders and team members.
Believe in every member of your team: A week before the biggest game of the Big Ten Championship OSU was faced with more adversity and was forced to start their third string quarter back. With that quarter back and a team that rallied behind him they put up some of the most impressive wins against some of that nations greatest teams. Does your start up believe in every member of the team. There are going to be a lot of times when things go wrong and you have to know that every member of your team can step into the drivers seat and rally the troops towards success.
Overcome setbacks: Last night Ohio State had 4 turnovers. Conventional wisdom tells us that if you turn the football over four times in a game you WILL NOT WIN. Championship teams (and startups) do not play by conventional rules. Understanding their faults the team excelled in other areas to ensure a victory. There will be many "turnovers' in your life as a start up founder. What separates a successful founder is the ability to ignore conventional wisdom and become champions. You must be willing to identify your weaknesses but more importantly identify your strengths. Understand them, exploit them and execute.
Never give up: Ohio State stresses mental and physical toughness. What separated them from every other college team this year was their ability to play every second of every game. Your start up has to give 100 percent every day if you are to be successful. You as a founder will have to challenge and reward your team for fighting when the things get tough. As a team member you must put aside your personal goals and contribute to the overall good of the company if you truly believe in it. The same way that every member of the Ohio State football team put aside their personal goals to achieve they ultimate team goal.
The 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes are the ultimate startup (although maybe just a little better funded then most ;) I invite you to look back over their season and see the lessons you can pull out surrounding leadership, tenacity and drive.
Let me know your thoughts @jeremy_bay