Thursday, January 8, 2015

Do You (and Your Organization) Strive to Be the Best?

In a radio interview several years ago, football broadcaster and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf was asked why Ohio State, Michigan and other Big 10 teams were not winning football games on the national stage.

I found Dierdorf’s response interesting and as I recall, was this:
  •  “Michigan recruits and builds its team to beat Ohio State. And, Ohio State recruits and builds its team to beat Michigan. Neither cares about the bowl games that follow. Those don’t really count like the Ohio State - Michigan rivalry game.”
In an interview after Ohio State beat #1 Alabama in the 2015 national semi-final football game, OSU coach Urban Meyer was asked about the “gap” between the Big 10 and other Power 5 conferences. And, specifically, whether the Big 10 was “closing the gap.”

Within the context of the Dierdorf quote, I found coach Meyer’s response enlightening and went something like this:
  • “We’re building a program to be the best. While it is important to beat Michigan and other Big 10 teams, getting to and winning national championships is our goal. We are recruiting and developing players with that goal in mind.”
And, there is an important difference for association and nonprofits.

Build your organization to be the best. Establish tangible, achievable goals. Keep building.

My first association job was with an association which – over a period of 10 years – became recognized as the premier association within their industry. It was a great ride. But, we did not set out to be the best. We set out to do what was best for those in our industry ... members and potential members. And those potential members saw our successes and wanted to join.

Success breeds success.

Do good work and be recognized for it.

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