To grow your company, learn a lesson from sports

B2B Marketing: Are the Best the Superstars? No!

How Can Businesses Find Winners? Hint: It’s not looking for superstars.

Learn a lesson from sports. Find the smart and savvy ones and not the greatWinner athletes. Too many companies sift through resumes, looking for the next Michael Jordan. But what they fail to realize is frequently the winner is hidden.

New York Times, March 27, 2011

To Create a Winner, You Have to Find the Winners

Published: March 26, 2011

Anson Dorrance has coached the North Carolina women’s soccer team to 21 national titles since 1979, and he has been more than happy to reveal his secret to success. In his 1996 book, “Training Soccer Champions,” Dorrance described what he calls the jewel of his program: the competitive caldron. U.N.C. soccer players compete in every aspect of the sport, including the weight room, sprints and drills. Coaches then look for the players with a knack for being on the winning side.

The consistent winner is not always the fastest runner or the hardest shot. It’s the person who can read the subtleties of the game and knows when certain actions can make a difference. It’s the person who involves and inspires teammates, creating emotion or a sense of mission. Coaches have a special name for such a player: starter.

David Eckstein is one player whose contribution far exceeded his talent. A walk-on in college and a 19th-round draft pick, he still managed to make the postseason in 4 of his 10 major league seasons, played on two championship teams and was the most valuable player of the 2006 World Series.

Sometimes teams will find a player with an X-factor that goes way beyond talent. Leo Durocher once said that second baseman Eddie Stanky could not hit, field or run — all he could do was win. But Stanky was not helpless. He retired in 1953 with a .410 career on-base percentage, among the best in history.

Do you look for winners in your business? Who drafts a player who can’t hit, field or run – but he wins? Do you look for men and women skilled at reading the subtleties of your industry and inspires others though emotion and a sense of mission?

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies rapidly grow revenue by transforming how they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customer by calling (516) 495-9350 or by sending an email to sales at


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