The New England Patriots are going about it differently this year. The players have only received Playbooks; they are not practicing. Sure, they’ve had lots of meetings at camp discussing and talking about the plays, why they are constructed as they are and why the plays will work. But not a single player has practiced the routes, the blocking schemes, the throws or the running plays.
Why would they bother? It’s not real. Heck most of the time in camp they are playing against each other on the same team! How silly is that? Nothing counts and someone could get hurt and what’s the point of that? Besides, they’ve studied the plays; they get it.
Of course the Patriots are practicing this year. Of course the Patriots are learning their roles by practicing these routes, those blocking schemes, the throws and the running plays.
But we either hate doing that stuff or just don’t care about doing it.
The day I walk through a sales site and see a coach and a sales rep leaning up against some old file cabinets on a sidewall spontaneously practicing a customer scenario about objection handling; I’ll just about have my coronary and end it right there. I have never ever seen that in real life.
The day I can go to 3 training sessions in a row (live or virtual) where the role play portion wasn’t cut off, or skipped due to time or just wasn’t part of the session – I’ll have that second coronary (well hopefully not with the medication I’m on now and the life changing behaviors I’d have adopted) but—you get the idea.
The day that sales manager from half way across the country Skypes his sales executive and forces her to go through the competitive differentiation portion of the conversation that’s going to soon happen in the C-Suite with a real customer, I’ll have that 3rd myocardial infarction (metaphorically of course).
Maybe I need to get out more often and this stuff happens all the time now. But maybe it doesn’t.
The sad part is I have a lot of memories when people do some intense role play and apply that Playbook in sessions with their coaches or in war rooms or in “bull in the ring” sessions. I have lots of memories where those people said, out loud, that that was the best part of working their boss or in the team meetings or in the training classes.
The Patriots aren’t fools. They know they have roles to play. And they know they need to play these roles and practice even when stuff ain’t real. They know because when the time comes; they need to be ready.
And so do we. Hut! Hut!.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.