Predictions - Leadership SHIFT Tip

It’s Sunday morning as I begin this shift tip and NBC sports is revving up their engines for their marathon coverage of tonight’s gladiator battle. Their experts have started to break down the anticipated attacks from central casting’s Americana match-up between the Eagles and Patriots.

A given in sports, scratch that, in life, is that we love predictions. And with the Super Bowl, we have plenty. It seems that everyone has an opinion, from former players turned pundits to to even Fiona the Hippo.

Prognosticating a winner isn’t hard. You got a 50/50 chance, and this year most are picking the Patriots — well, except for Fiona and those from the Keystone State.

The bigger challenge is predicting the score, and if an expert lands on their predicted tally, I hope we can agree that it is more luck than clairvoyance.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
- Peter Drucker

It’s the same challenge that we face when developing a sales and marketing forecast. Yes, we can hire the pundits and leverage hi-tech software, but trusting Fiona could be a better bet. Just sayin’ — she was right tonight.

Back in my corporate days, I had a president tell me, “Michael if you can get within +/- 3% of your forecast, you’ve put together a great forecast.”

Then with my youthful ignorance, I asked him, “If that’s the case, then why do we set everyone’s incentive compensation and bonus on the belief that the forecast is spot on?”

Yep, I said that. Did I ever tell you that I value courage?

We could all benefit from a pump of the brakes on the notion that we know exactly what will happen in the game, our business, and, heck, for good measure we can throw in politics.

Yes, predictions may get us in the ballpark, but the fluidity of life, sports, and business pivots on mindset, hustle, and execution.

And that’s hard to predict. That’s why we play the game.

Congratulations Philadelphia!

Have fun storming the castle, but don’t trash the place.