I watched the movie “The Replacements” starring Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves over the holidays for the millionth time. Gene played a football coach and Keanu Reeves played the scab quarterback leading a group of replacement football players during a strike.  I do not watch much football, but I love this movie!  I jotted down ten (10) things the coach shouted.  These are all cheers leaders of organizations can use to rally the troops into the New Year.

“Go out there and catch the ball”
“Go wide – gotta have it – gotta have it”
“Leaders want the ball”
“Winners always want the ball”
“For leadership to work, the team must believe in each other”
“The Quarterback leads with heart”
“Play to win!”
“Put together a winning team”
“Play like there’s no tomorrow…that will make you very dangerous”
“Be part of something great….[because] greatness stays with you”

To succeed in business, you have to be able to catch deals – not fumble and drop them.  To lead and win, you have to actually want deals and aggressively go after the work.  I counsel small businesses in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center and I have met several business owners that do not submit bid proposals; do not go to networking events; and do not ask for appointments with buyers to pitch their products and services.  Many expect that since they are start ups and small, or woman owned, or minority owned, then someone has an obligation to give them work.  No, you have to get out into the field, run, jump, tackle and catch the ball.

Go wide is when a player moves to the outside edge of the field.  In business, this would be analogous to going out of your way to avoid the competition to close a deal.

One rallying call that the coach made really ticked me off.  He said “[losers] can’t shake off repercussions – that’s why girls don’t play the game….”what separates the winners from losers is getting back on that horse”.

I’m active in Nell Merlino’s Count Me In organization for Women’s Economic Independence and its Make Mine a Million (M3) program.  I urge every small business woman owner who has not made it to the $1 Million mark yet to write $1Million on a sticky note and slap the sticky onto a football.  Resolve to look at that football every day this year.  Focus on that ball!  Shake it off!  This year is your year, so get back on that horse!


By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc. Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC).  Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. www.lemongrassplanning.com (Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans) 
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