Athletic Director Barry Collier, a former Butler Bulldogs basketball player and coach, smiles at the question, “What is the secret to Butler’s success?”
There has to be a secret, right?
I mean, how could a school with just 4,300 undergraduate students and a basketball budget that is less than 1/5 of most big programs play in the National Championship game two years in a row in 2010 and 2011?
Collier replies to that question by saying, “There are no secrets to our success, and don’t even look for one; it’s a waste of time.” When pushed to provide more detail, he talks about “The Butler Way.” Collier responds that The Butler Way, “demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality and is seeking constant improvement every day, putting the team above self.”
How can we apply the concepts of The Butler Way to improve our businesses, our sales teams, our lives?
First of all, The Butler Way was crafted by legendary basketball coach Tony Hinkle in the 1920′s and brought back by Collier in the early 1990’s when he was the team’s coach. The Butler Way embraces five guiding principles:
1. Humility – know who you are, your strengths and weaknesses
2. Passion – do not be lukewarm, commit to excellence
3. Unity – do not divide your house, put the team first
4. Servanthood – make teammates better, lead by giving
5. Thankfulness – learn from every circumstance
Utter the phrase “The Butler Way,” and Butler’s students will tell you it’s real. Many Butler students live by these five principles and credit them for their success. “It’s something you feel the minute you come here,” said junior Michael Ruff.
Many of us work for sales organizations or companies that could be viewed as a #8 seed like Butler was the second year they advanced to the National Championship game. We may not get all the media attention that larger companies get; we have limited budgets to do our jobs; and we can’t always go out and attract the nation’s best talent. Yet the principles that drive the Butler basketball players, those five principles listed above, are also the principles that can make your company or sales organization successful.
Humility, Passion, Unity, Servanthood and Thankfulness.
It’s good to know that under the right circumstances, with the right leadership, the right talent, and the right values, anything is possible — like winning when you officially come in second.
Want to learn how The Butler Way can help your sales team succeed? At Sales Xceleration, we embody these principles via our defined processes, proven systems, and innovative sales tools to serve small to medium-sized businesses nationwide, click here to connect with a Sales Xceleration Advisor in your area. Or contact us today at 1.844.874.7253.
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