The Hail Mary

The Hail Mary Pass

One of the most exciting plays in football is when the quarterback, with everything on the line, throws the infamous Hail Mary pass. It is called that because, he throws it downfield into the end zone in the hopes (after he says his Hail Mary) that one of his team mates will catch it and win the game.

I am not saying that, in life, business and football, there isn't a time when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. There are and will be times that you have to put it all on the line, and simply "go for it." It is just that so many times I see clients or potential clients running their businesses as if everyday was a Hail Mary play.

Many times their conversations will be peppered or perhaps I should say littered with statements like, "We are hoping to...", or "We were kind of thinking that...."

After I patiently listen to them, I offer a subtle suggestion that "Hope is not always the best strategy."

It is great to think positively and maintain a hopeful attitude. The problem is it won't serve you all that well without an effective plan. The teams that do the best in the NFL and in corporate or small business America are the teams that execute well founded, high percentage "plays" with a clearly defined and well thought out game plan. Being put in high pressure situations all the time is no fun and will contribute to high turnover, less than promising returns, and frequent and embarrassing losses. It's just a suggestion but you might want to save your Hail Mary's for church.

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