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about it in the parking lot or, even worse, read it in the newspaper. Move your organization from a culture of “need to know” to a culture of “need to share.” 3. Pay attention to the individual team members. Each player was recruited for a special talent. A head coach and the coaching team should know each player’s end goals. Some might want to enjoy the experience, others want their education paid for and yes, some want to make it to the NFL draft. Within your organization, consult with each member of your team and make sure you are crystal-clear on that person’s career goals. 4. Recognize players and employees. The book discusses seven best practices for recognition. Sure, when a touchdown is scored, you see many forms of celebration and recognition — hugs, high-fives and standing ovations. But that’s easy when you are winning the game. What if you’re losing the game by a big margin and there are 42 seconds left? Or you missed the profit plan and did not beat last year’s numbers? This is where you can rely on these best practices: •

Appreciate good tries. A kicker misses a 54-yard field goal. The game was not won, but the head coach needs to put his arm around the kicker and say, “Heck of a try!”

Say thanks right now. A sales professional just landed a top account. Do not wait to see that person at an event. Pick up the phone and make the call. I personally like mailing a handwritten note.

Praise often. No matter what happens on the field or in the office, praise each player during or after each game. Praise each employee once a week.

Share details. Let the employees know the big picture and the “why” behind the big picture.

Build on important values. Notice the players who embody or support the organization’s values and point out their actions approvingly.

Celebrate great results. Match the rewards with what matters to the person you are praising, such as an award, a possible promotion or appointment to lead a project.

Take a step. When formally recognizing an individual, tell a story, make it personal and have it come from the heart. This is my favorite.

As college football season begins, make it a point to notice whether any of the four points are demonstrated on the field. And, as a business leader, be sure to review and implement them with your own team. Game on, and may the best team win! P

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