Monday, October 7, 2013

Becoming a Professional MVP: No-Huddle Offense

Are you ready for some football? In the late 1980’s, it was believed by some football historians that the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals football team was the first to revolutionize the offensive philosophy of the game. That year, Boomer Esiason and his team based their game plan on having an attack or ‘no-huddle’ offensive style and remained fervent on changing how they attached their opponent throughout the entire season. Their hope was that they could implement a hurry-up, no-huddle offensive system that would speed up the game while mentally and physically wearing down their opponents. Simply put, they wanted to achieve better results when dealing with the crucial moments leading to a win or a loss. Their no-huddle offense proved to be successful and is now a fundamental staple to every NFL franchises’ game plan in order to stay competitive. So how does this relate to us and our professional development in becoming the MVP within our organization?

Likewise, many of us as students, athletes, coaches, administrators or professors, need to establish our very own no-huddle offense in order to stay competitive in the workplace amongst our peers. Today’s society includes more communication and interaction than ever before – particularly through social media websites, blogs, etc. – and as a result, we must cultivate a strategy for dealing with the rapid changes in today’s environment that will keep us ahead of the game.  You each can develop an effective, game-winning no-huddle offense in your professional careers by taking the following tips into account:

1.       Change the way you look at things (challenge the status quo)
2.       Study/read your opponent (aka industry trends, open job opportunities and leadership traits)
3.       Dictate the tempo (know when to go for short gains and when to go for the big play)

The renowned motivational speaker Wayne Dyer, once said, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” Put another way, sometimes you have to shake things up to make new things happen. Kouzes and Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, believe that ‘challenging the process’ is essential to change, grow and improve; both personally and professionally. If it wasn’t for the Cincinnati Bengals looking at things differently back in the 1988, we may not have the no-huddle offense you see today from the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Michael Vick. In short, don’t be afraid to take risks as long as you understand that some of the mistakes and challenges that you face along the way are simply just opportunities for you to learn.

One of the best aspects of the no-huddle offense is that you can dictate the tempo; however, this will not be realized if you do not study your opponent (a la industry trends and open job opportunities) – preparation is vital! You will feel more ready to hike the ball or call an audible because you have put in the time and effort prior to the game (aka the interview).  It is crucial that as we aim to control our career trajectory, we also learn when to go for the big play and when to go for short gains. In other words, dictate the tempo by knowing when to turn it on and know when to turn it off – this will provide you with the perspective needed when building a reputation for success.


Patrick Gallagher Patrick is a MS, Sport Management candidate at Drexel University set to graduate in Summer 2014. He is the Business and Operations Graduate Assistant for Drexel Athletics and is responsible for supporting the Administration and Operations staff of Drexel's Athletic Cabinet this year. Gallagher graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in marketing and management, in May 2006 from Villanova University. During his enrollment, he was named Captain of the men's varsity soccer team and was appointed President of SAAC. He is looking to use his professional experience as a media sales consultant in New York, coupled with his passion for sports, to pursue a successful career in athletic administration.
You can connect with Patrick Gallagher on LinkedIn.

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