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Football and Trucking: Not That Different

I love basketball; so much that I’ve gotten into a habit of gambling after having redeemed my weekly pointsbet promo code ny. But basketball, with limited assets (5 on the floor at a time), resembles more of a small truck line to me.  While managing 120 personalities, I find it very easy to compare our current trucking environment to football.  Don’t see it?  Hear me out.


Free Agency:

Football’s free agency has just begun and it is easy to look at how trucking and football add talent to their teams.  In football, you have limited time and resources (salary cap) to improve your talent pool (players) and these decisions truly drive a team’s results (my knowledge is based on the information provided on websites like 7m, so I might not be completely certain).  In trucking/transportation, free agency is year round.  You have the ability to find, recruit and sign talent all year round.  Again, because of razor thin margins, we have an allotment that we can spend on our on the field talent (drivers).  Many times free agency is the big splash; you spend to know what you are going to get and usually have more predictable results.

In football, this is where the executives either look very good or really bad.  In trucking, this is where many don’t play.  We don’t allow rookie drivers on our payroll because of risks and many of us bet on the sure thing (established players/drivers).  With a driver shortage on our hands, rookie drivers are more common than ever, using driving colleges to get them started.  This will continue and hopefully for many of us, finds us with much success.


Winning Today:
Every executive of a football team wants to win today which is not a trait to be too shy about,  but with limited resources, these executives have to be careful to put too much into immediate success that they forget about the future.  This is also the case in trucking.  Trucking needs to improve their immediate balance sheets but they also need to continue to invest in things that ensure long term success.

Building a Team for Tomorrow
As mentioned, balance is the key.  The best executives have the ability to balance today’s needs with building a team that will be extremely successful down the road.  Having the ability to see the talent that is needed and to find the raw traits that will develop over time is quite the challenge.  The best are very good at it, while others of us pretend to be learning these skills.

Many of the best coaches in football are superstars in their own right.  I find the exact opposite in trucking.  Many of the very best executives are very silent and diligent about going about their own way.  Jim Collins describes the best coaches/leaders in Good to Great.  He says a Level Five leader, the highest level, is one that puts the company’s success in front of their own success. Collins states that a Level Four leader needs to bring attention to themselves.  Surprisingly, he describes the skillset of both leaders as equal but they just have a different desire of who gets the recognition.

I think everyone would agree that communication is at the soul of every great company or team.  No different here, regardless if it is play-calling, disciplining, teaching, routing or dispatching.  The message that is delivered needs to be accurate, timely and efficient.

No need for deep conversation here either.  The ability to take the team that you have and get the most out of them and allow them to be successful is a powerful tool in both sports and trucking.

Seems obvious that in sports there is a scoreboard and a standings listing of how your team is performing. The best of trucking companies have their KPI’s, financials, benchmarks and rankings.  In the end, winning is quite important on the field and on the road.

Some absolutely hate using the word luck.  I have heard everyone’s version of luck:  the harder I work the luckier I get, luck is the result of hard work, and luck is earned.

I get all of that, but at the end of the day, there are a lot of hard working companies and people that just don’t get that lucky break.  Luck of being in the right spot at the right time can be the difference of something interesting and something special.

Be it 100 yards on a football field or a 1,000 miles on the interstate, both football and trucking need all these components and excellent teamwork to get to the ultimate goal. For some wide receivers, it’s boils down to listening to Peyton Manning at the line changing their route at the last minute. For our drivers, it’s our team at the office telling them their route, too. Both scenarios have a finite finish, the end-zone or the loading dock.

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