NFL Playoff Game Provides An Excellent Analogy For Business! (Video)

By | January 10, 2016

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Sports fan or not last nights Steelers-Bengals playoff game provides an excellent analogy for problems businesses need to avoid!

And avoid at all costs! The problems I speak of can be toxic whether it’s an entry-level employee, a manager or a C-Suite occupant who forgets that all involved are working towards the same goal. The success of the overall entity.

The Problems?

Ego, selfishness, personal agenda, emotional outbursts or unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes all run counter to the desired outcome and have no place in a corporate hierarchy whether that hierarchy consists of 2 or 10,000 employees!

And to repeat, the desired outcome is the success of the entire business entity because then everyone who is involved in the process will (or should) benefit.

The Sports Analogy For What Not To Do In Business Courtesy Of The Steelers-Bengals NFL Playoff Game

Let’s set the stage…

The game between the Steelers and the Bengals pitted two rivals who dislike each other a great deal with the right to move on in the playoffs at stake.

And, as was expected, it was chippy, emotional and hard fought from the opening minute.

With little time left on the clock in the 4th quarter and appearing that the Cincinnati Bengals were going to lose (again), they improbably went ahead 16-15.

Two quick turnovers later the Pittsburgh Steelers, with one minute 29 seconds left, had the ball on the nine-yard line deep in their own territory needing enough yardage that would allow them to attempt a viable field goal.

Here’s what happened next…

First, Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict drilled Steelers WR Antonio Brown, drawing a 15-yard penalty.

Then, the Bengals ‘Adam Jones picked up another 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Jones seemed to lunge at Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter, a former Steelers linebacker who was on the field for some unknown reason, and contacted an official. That led to the second straight flag on the self-destructing Bengals‘. (Source)

With those two penalties giving the Steelers 30 free yards, it put them into field goal range where they scored and won the game!

Ego, selfishness and emotion not only cost the Cincinnati Bengals a game, but will likely also tear at the the fabric of that overall entity called a team!

Further, what many call an apparent lack of leadership at the top that created an environment allowing for those two penalties to occur, could cost head coach Marvin Lewis his job.

While it can sometimes be easier said than done, don’t let toxic actors within your organization harm or destroy YOUR team, aka YOUR business!

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Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at

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