When’s Your Grand Final Day?


For four businesses, this weekend represents the culmination of their year’s effort.  Or you could say a lifetime’s effort.

The AFL & NRL players that get to take the field have worked their butts off since they were kids for this opportunity.  Now they have to bring all of that individual effort, and their collective effort, together to deliver the best performance they can offer.  If they’re lucky, they’ll come out the other side with a winner’s medal. But I’d argue they’re lucky either way. Lucky because they have the moment of pressure to prove themselves in front of their peers, in front of their community. Most people can go their entire working life and never experience pressure that even comes close to that moment. It’s one of the greatest learning experiences you can ever ask for.



It begs the question;

what does your Grand Final Day look like?



I come from the world of advertising.  My aspirations of being a professional footballer long behind me (… but the dream is still alive!).  Advertising’s Grand Final is, for better or worse, the pitch. Pitting your agency against others. It’s a terrible way to acquire business.  Late nights. Long weekends. Intense pressure. But it’s a great learning tool.

Nothing focuses your organisation like a battle.

You have to recognise your strengths.  Acknowledge your weaknesses. Play to the former. Innovate to address the latter.  It asks the inexperienced to step up. The experienced to lead. It places demands on the entire organisation to deliver their best work - only to see it discarded at the last minute in an effort to hone everything you have to say into a simple, coherent solution. Then a small group of people are asked to represent the rest of the organisation as your community watches on.    

Nine times out of ten, you’ll walk out the other end a better business than when you walked in.  

That doesn’t mean you’ll win. But it reminds you what you stand for. What’s important to you. What you do better than everyone else. And if you’re in the room, you learn a lot about how you handle pressure.

If you win one, you feel good.  Win two, you feel great. Get a third and you start to gain ‘The Big Mo’ – momentum.  The whole organisation benefits.  The energy changes. Pitch wins can quickly act as a catalyst to turn an organisation from middle of the pack, to leading the field.

So here we are.  It’s almost the end of the Premiership Quarter. (the guitar riff of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” / NZ National Party’s “Eminemesque”, starts playing in the background).

How are you and your team going to tackle what’s left in your season?

  • Set your final quarter goals

  • Allocate roles & responsibilities

  • Chalkboard your plays

  • Track performance daily, weekly

  • Don’t stop til the final whistle!

Only then will you know if you’ve won your Grand Final this year.



Author: John Halpin