5 Business Lessons Learned From Auburn & Gus Malzahn

On December 9, 2013

5 Business Lessons Learned From Auburn & Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn is Auburn University’s football coach.  In his first season as a head coach in the SEC, he is playing for the National Championship (the #1 team in college football).  He has come into his leadership position & done it much different than many people do.  Whether you watch football or not, you can learn from Coach Malzahn.


1. Be Simple

Coach Malzahn runs an offense that is simple.  They basically run the same play over & over.  One play with five options.  It’s that simple.

In business, we tend to have too many plays.  We focus on all the things we could do instead of dominating what we do best.  Malzahn is intentionally one dimensional & this creates domination.  Instead of having 10 products, have 1.  Instead of having 14 payment options, have 2.  Keep it simple & dominate.

2. Be Systematic

Malzahn’s offense is a system.  They have written down everything they do & follow it rigidly.  This allows him to win, even though he currently doesn’t have the top talent.  When you are systematic, your B players become A players!

What do you have written down in your business?  Is it all in your head or is it on paper?  Do you do things the same way each time or different?  If you will take one hour this week & write down what you want people to do, you will be more successful.

3. Be Fast

Because they run the same play & formation the majority of the time, they are just faster than everyone else.  They get up to the line & go!  This allows them to crush their competition because of their speed.

In our world you must be fast to market.  You must be fast on customer service.  You must be fast to fix a down website.  If you keep your business simple & systematic, it allows you to be fast & serve your customers better.

What do you need to STOP doing that is creating unneeded complexity to your business?

Check out this free resource I wrote for business leaders.  It will help you prioritize & be FAST!

4. Be Passionate

When they score, Gus yells, “BOOOOOOM!” While I hate seeing this because I’m an Alabama fan, it shows his passion for what he does.  He is heavily involved in the game & gets very passionate.

Are you passionate about your business?  If you don’t bring the energy to the office, nobody will.  Passion is attractive & motivating for the team.

5. Be Bold

To come out each week & say, “We are just going to run the ball down your throat” is bold.  Pick a direction & stick with it.  Early in the year, Auburn wasn’t seeing the kind of success they are now.  He was bold enough to trust the system & keep at it.

Are you the kind of leader that changes the plans 50 times?  Can you not pick a direction & stick to it?  Do you waffle if your plan doesn’t initially work?

Be bold enough to pick a direction & stick with it through the ups & downs.  Quit listening to so many opinions & do what you do.  Be bold in your approach to business & dominate YOUR WAY!  And please quit whining about why people will not buy your stuff & figure out how to sell it better!

Is your business Simple, Systematic, Fast, Passionate, & Bold?

Comment Question: What is your top take away from this post that you could apply in your company or leadership? 

  • By caseygraham  3 Comments   


    Posted by Mark Clement on
    • Dec 9 2013
    I love it. And WAR EAGLE!!!! (me and my brother at the Iron Bowl)
    Posted by Jamie Morphew on
    • Dec 12 2013
    Thank you, Casey! I so needed to read this post! Top take away: Be simple. I feel pulled in a million directions by all the things I can do. I need to dominate at what I do best. Seriously... THANK YOU!
      Posted by Casey Graham on
      • Dec 18 2013
      Hey Jamie, Thank you so much your comment. I've had to learn this lesson many times as well my friend! Thanks for the comment.

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