“Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist, but football is only two things: blocking and tackling.” ~ Vince Lombardi, Legendary Green Bay Packers football coach

Business leaders would do well to take a lesson from Lombardi as they plot their growth strategies. To win, or grow, you must focus day in and day out on the basics—on the blocking and tackling. This applies at every level of your business, from the front line to the CEO. Big plays are the result of people flawlessly executing the basics over and over again. Some of the tasks associated with blocking and tackling may seem repetitive and boring. But no matter how big a business grows, if the fundamentals become a side show, the business soon will be too.

Do these five things to make sure your business is in a position to go the distance:

  1. Start by making sure you know what the basic activities are that are critical to your company’s success. Believe it or not, some companies never evaluate this and basically wing it. That’s like sending up a Hail Mary pass every day.
  2. Communicate (or remind) your team about these core activities and about performance expectations.
  3. Evaluate whether your team has the tools they need. You can’t expect flawless execution when you don’t offer the proper resources and training.
  4. Examine your processes, systems and procedures. Are they still serving the company well, or do they need to be re-evaluated to improve productivity, quality and profitability?
  5. Take a hard look at how well you are serving customers. Do you take your customers for granted and just assume that because sales are decent that everyone is happy? When was the last time you really made an effort to ensure those customer relationships are as solid as you think they are?

In football, blocking and tackling is about protecting players. When done well, it can create openings for big plays. Make sure your team can consistently block and tackle to put your business in a position to score big.