Throughout the football season, there will be players who have breakout games that result in off the chart points in your fantasy league. Fantasy teams boasting All-Star players may be shocked when opposing teams beat them with a rookie running back or wide receiver who is making their first NFL debut. You never know where the next great player is hiding out and that’s why it’s important to stay on top of the waivers and always be looking for those sleepers.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for “sleepers” in your own fantasy league. League mates who didn’t quite understand the game early on, struggled with figuring out how to use the app, or even threatened to quit after taking their third loss in a row. All of a sudden these fantasy players are making moves and no matter how often you tell yourself, “It’s only a game,” you can’t help but panic.
Just like that you are inspired to make big changes to your own line up and then ask the Fantasy Sports Gods to have mercy on your team as you head into the bye weeks.
What can this teach us about business? How are these same principles applied to working culture and office life? It teaches business owners how to build and manage a successful team within their company.
Do Your Research
In fantasy sports, it’s not uncommon to check out NFL rankings and follow the latest news about stud players. Throughout the season you search the waivers for Rising-Stars. Often, fantasy players will seek advice from league mates, or turn to social media to read posts and news stories by sports analyst.
For business owners, conducting research is a crucial part to helping a business to grow. Marketing research helps your team define your customer base and develop sales techniques that reach your audience. Researching competitors helps businesses to discover what is working and what isn’t in their industry. It’s important to know your competitors if you want to stay out in front of them. And, when all else fails, never hesitate to see the advice of a mentor or industry expert. They can point you in the right direction and help you gather quality research that will help you plan your company’s next big move.
This research also helps you make hiring decisions as you seek top talent to fill open positions in your company. Knowing what skills you are seeking in a job candidate and how their personality will fit into your company culture is important to building your team. You’ll want players who compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Look for Rising-Stars
Every fantasy league has that one player everyone needs to beat. While you may have turned your focus to strategizing against the top ranked team in your league, you probably forgot about the sleeper league mates who are inching their way to the top of the rankings.
Just as you should keep an eye out for opposing teams creeping up the rankings, you should also be looking out for employees who are making big moves within your company. Your employees bring a lot of talent to your business. They lend their talents to the success of your company every single day. It’s all too easy to spot an All-Star employee who succeeds week after week, but while you are focused on them, you are forgetting about those employees who might need an extra push.
Remember that feeling you got when you realized your fantasy team was falling to the bottom and you were faced with losing? That’s the same panic you should feel when an employee become disengaged in their work.
Rising-Stars throughout your company are waiting for you to invest in their talent and recognize them for their contributions to the daily grind. They need to be inspired and be recognized as a valuable part of your team. Seek out opportunities to engage these employees. Otherwise, you may see your company start to fall to the bottom when it comes to things like employee engagement and retention numbers.
Don’t Bench Your All-Stars
Let's say that you have Antonio Brown and DeVante Parker on your team. Brown may have one or two games that aren't his best. But you wouldn't bench him in favor of Parker – even if Parker had a couple of excellent games. When push comes to shove, you always start your stud players and let them carry your team.
The same can be said in the business world. You must not only recognize your top talent, you must also give them the freedom to make decisions and manage projects their own way. They’ll need your encouragement to keep them motivated and passionate. Recognize these employees when they achieve big things and they’ll remain loyal to the company’s cause. Passionate and motivated talent will take your company to the next level.
You might find that you are doing a bit of a balancing act when it comes to managing the different types of employees in your company. You’ll find that All-Star talent might need less supervision, but craves more recognition for their accomplishments, while Rising-Star talent needs more guidance and craves your direct attention.
Take time to learn about employee needs and coach them accordingly. Keeping your team balanced and engaged in their work is sure to help everyone excel as the company grows.
Not Every Season will be Like the Last
Every week the Levy League sees a shift in player standings. Teams that once controlled the league are falling to the bottom of the rankings while teams managed by beginners are fighting their way to the top. Power players in the league are reaching to help league newbies and the extra coaching they are receiving is paying off. By not being afraid to ask for help, teams like Mamaz MadBoyz have improved their rankings three places over the last few weeks. Teams like Glorious sat at the bottom of last season’s rankings. No one expected them to be a contender this season and yet, they are a force to be reckoned with as they make their run to secure a spot in the playoffs.
This also speaks to the style of sportsmanship practiced here at Levy. League leaders could very easily offer bad advice or create unfair trade deals, subjecting beginners and struggling teams to even more heartache and disappointment. But, that just doesn’t seem the case. For the Levy League, player involvement and sportsmanship reign supreme and while everyone is fighting for the top spot, we recognize that in the end, it’s just a game and individual success is not near as important as league success.
Same goes for business. As you are learning new ways to recognize and engage your employees, keep in mind that employee recognition isn’t just about those players who seem to win all the time. It’s about lending a hand to other members of your team and helping them achieve a space in the spotlight. Recognizing small accomplishments is just as important and awarding an employee who achieves big wins every day.
The marks of success will change year after year for your company. You’ll have employees who achieve big things week after week, while you might have others who only have one big win in a season. Understanding that these shifts happen and learning to adapt your management style accordingly will help you to stay on top of keeping your employees engaged. Introducing new recognition techniques and showing appreciation to your employees often can get your team through the worst seasons and motivate them to keep pushing towards the top.
Week Seven Standings
Gary’s Genius Team
Edgar Allan’s Bros
7/12th’s of a Team
* Notes the 2017 Levy League Champion
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