Business Lessons From The East Dillon Lions

I’ve been re-watching (my fourth?) the last half of Season 5 the last two weeks and got an inspiration to write this post after the scene of the Lions (right after doing the Haka!) walking into the field to face West Cambria.


If you haven’t seen the series…there are going to be spoilers below.


When thinking about a masterpieceĀ (even when filled with teen angst) series such as this, it’s difficult to compare seasons — as they are each unique in each way. I think the reason Seasons 4 and 5 resonate more strongly to me would be that it was about building something with very little resources.


Despite my tendency to worry and default to ‘flophouse thinking’ (a bit similar to Dan Harris‘ inner voice telling him that if he goes bald, he’ll lose his job and end up in a flophouse in Duluth), my not being cynical about the events of FNL does show that there is a big bucket of optimism within me that I can draw from.



Lesson # 1: Decide Then Take Stock

At one point during the series, Levi (The principal of East Dillon) tells Eric Taylor that he wasn’t suppose to take the job. It was an interesting line because Eric and Tami didn’t consider going anywhere else aside from East Dillon after Eric lost his job coaching the Dillon Panthers.

Though there were transfers from the Panthers to the Lions in season 4 — Coach Taylor wasn’t really focused on recruiting players from the Panthers. Rather he was focused on finding out what resources he had (sub-par players, zero boosters, and barely any community support) within East Dillon and worked from there.



Lesson # 2: Make Sure The Strategy You Use Fits Your Particular Situation

It was interesting to notice that Coach Taylor does not attempt to mold any of the players according to any of the previous ones he has coached. He doesn’t mention once to Vince about how he coached Matt Saracen, and as a result it helped them win the State Championship during his first season as head coach of the panthers.


Lesson # 3: Focus and Execute

Getting back to that scene right at the corridor between the locker room and the field right before the West Cambria game (Season 5, Episode 11) when the team is pumping themselves up — you’d think that that was the energy they are picking up from their fans. It’s only after the cheering and battle cries are over that it is revealed that it is an away game, and they are booed and pieces of food is chucked at them.

What was so gallant about the Lions walk to the field, was that as soon as they emerged from the cover of the walkway, the disapproving sounds and torrent of popcorn didn’t affect their stride.




The Result?

The Lions Won State after only two years and Coach Taylor got offered his dream job (Head Coach of a Division I School).


While choosing people to work with while building a business and deciding on a strategy is equally as hard, it is another battle when you’ve got people around you (sometimes well meaning) leading you astray from your goals. I’ve found that as long as I keep my strategy within reach (I’ve just printed out my weekly schedule and daily actions) I can minimise spending time on (or getting distracted by) activities that would have little impact on effectively building the business.



Additional Resources:



Got any revelations recently while watching a TV show?





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First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. šŸ™‚



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