WashingtonExec reached out to area executives to gain insight and share local “secrets to success” stories.
Joyce Bosc, President and CEO of Boscobel Marketing Communications, credits what she learned as a young athlete to her success in business.
Joyce Bosc: Thanks to my parents, I spent a lot of time playing sports growing up. The team-building experiences of my childhood taught me some very important lessons, and have helped to shape my approach to business at Boscobel Marketing Communications, Inc.
1. Build a great team. Business leaders must build and maintain a winning team. Today, this often means considering the whole person and not just a particular skill set. Will your playing styles mesh well? Can you get along on those endless bus rides to the game, or after a week of two-a-days and late night practices? And, if you have a great player who seems to be struggling, consider whether he or she might flourish in a different position on the team. At Boscobel, we look for people with great experience, but we also look for important traits like curiosity, resourcefulness and tenacity – and when we find them, we do our best to align their position with their inherent strengths. With capable, loyal teammates on board, anything is possible.
2. The best umpires stay out of the way. Good umpires and referees are careful to give the players room to do their best. This is also a savvy approach for successful business leaders. Once you’ve assembled a strong team, you have to be smart enough – and brave enough – to step back and let your people do what they do best.
3. Share that trophy! When a football team wins the Super Bowl, everyone gets a ring – not just the quarterback or the coach. One person alone didn’t win; it took the hard work and support of many individuals. We have an impressive awards display at Boscobel, and those trophies belong to all of us, not just a select few. And, remember the flip side of this coin: it’s important to support each other during frustrations and setbacks as well. A real team shares the highs and the lows.
4. Everyone has a slump. Perfect seasons are rare, especially in the business world. Basketball teaches the importance of focusing on all parts of the game, even when things aren’t going according to plan. When your shooting game is in a slump, concentrate on other tactics like defense and passing. Then, pick your shots carefully and rebuild your confidence. Learn from your mistakes. As Pat Riley said, “It’s what you get from games you lose that is extremely important.”
5. The ball is always in your court. Win or lose, the most important thing to do is keep your head up and move forward. To stay on top of any project, large or small, always assume the ball is in your court. Follow up and follow through, even when you hand things off to another teammate, and make sure that no one drops the ball. Another key component is to call the ball – step up, volunteer and make sure the team knows who will handle each play.
6. Adapt your game. Wayne Gretzky said, “A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” It’s the same in business: the best success stories are those firms that adapt and adjust to suit their customers’ emerging needs. As a boutique agency, Boscobel is agile and flexible, and we leverage that adaptability for our clients. We create niches and modular programs that tie in to where we see the market going and where companies will need support the most.
Using these fundamentals, we’ve had more than three decades of success in the B2G market. It’s a winning combination that can’t be denied.