Skip to content

Be A Tiger

So last week something very rare happened. The Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game for the first time in 31 years ending the longest playoff drought in America’s 4 major sports. The city was buzzing all last weekend and is still riding high and ready to take on the Titans tomorrow night in Nashville (and what better place for a bunch of Bengals fans to head to for the weekend?). But the whole thing has got me thinking. Why now, after all this time? It seemed like the drought could’ve gone on forever. And what makes this team different than the 0-7 playoff teams during the Marvin Lewis era? A couple of things jump out at me.

The organizational leadership appears to be passing the reigns to the next generation. There’s an important lesson here. The guys who have been around forever have to know when it’s time to pass the buck and who to entrust the keys to. This usually means putting aside their own egos and stubbornness. The first piece of evidence I noticed that the buck was being passed to the next generation was the emphasis on marketing. If you live in Cincy, you know there are more billboards, social media posts, commercials, and events around the Bengals than ever before (#RuleTheJungle #RuleThePlayoffs). Even before the season started, the organization did a much better job of creating a buzz around the team than in years past. OK so marketing did its job. Fans do pay the bills after all. I imagine a lot of us in business forget about or don’t have time to utilize the power of marketing, especially those in small business. If done effectively, it can create a buzz around your brand which will put your salespeople in an easier position to execute.

Moving on to personnel. The Bengals filled in the missing pieces from last year that they knew were needed to transform this team from good to great (Jim Collins reference). First Who… then What? Get the right people on the bus and get them in the right seats. Hello Trey Hendrickson. Hello Mike Hilton. Hello Larry Ogunjobi. Hello Chidobe Awuzie. With those 4 free agent signings, all the sudden the Bengals have a defense (their defense was pretty awful last year). So what talent is missing from your business? How can you fill those roles in now so your team can be more well-rounded for the whole year?

OK, so what’s left? Some kind of X-factor it would seem. Someone with the attitude and demeanor of a tiger. The tiger has the biggest brain among all cats. It can think, learn, and plan, and it never makes the same mistake twice. It never toys with its prey, it goes straight for the jugular. Bigger, stronger, and more ferocious than a lion, tigers hunt mostly alone. Alright, I think you get the point. I’m talking about Joe Burrow. He’s been a tiger of some sort since 2018, and he acts like one too. The thing I like about Burrow is his growth mindset. There isn’t anything in his mind that he cannot do. He doesn’t limit himself. People might just see his swagger (hip sunglasses and cigar smoking son of a gun). But if you listen to him talk in interviews, you’ll notice the growth mindset. And I think he’s been very effective at getting the rest of the team to buy-in to that mindset as well. “Why Not Us” has been their theme of late. And who knows, maybe Burrow will be the guy to bring a Super Bowl to Cincinnati once for and all. After 31 years of misery and disappointment, the fans deserve it. So how you can be a better leader today? How can you transfer your positive growth mindset attitude to the rest of your team? How can you serve your fans or customers better? Can you be a tiger? Why not, I wouldn’t limit yourself.

Who Dey! Go Bengals!

Leave a Comment