Written By: Chris Enger
In 2015, a soccer club named Leicester City was playing in the Premier League in England. They were a smaller club with a payroll of $27 million. They started the season with a 5000-1 chance of winning their league. Why such long odds? They were playing against international powerhouses like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea that each had payrolls that exceeded $200 million.
If someone placed a $27 bet on Leicester to win the league before it started, they would have won $147,000.
What else had the same or better odds?
- Barak Obama to play cricket for England: 5000-1
- Elvis Presley being found alive: 5000-1
- Hitting a hole-in-one: 3632-1
- Loch Ness monster existing: 500-1
Leicester City went on to win the league that year and didn’t win it on the last day of the year; they won it with two games left. It’s one of the most amazing sports stories of this generation and is likely unheard of by many here in the United States.
How did they do it? United Teamwork.
1. They did something different. In the age of modern soccer, where possession and passing have dominated champion winning teams, Leicester City took a different approach. Their strategy was making sure their defense was in check, allowing other teams to keep the ball so when they finally got the ball, they would counterattack with precision and speed.
Right now, things are great at Med One Group. We continue to grow along with our customer base. At times it may feel like we are simply waiting for the next change to happen in our company, but when it happens, it takes the whole team to move as one. Opening new locations, taking on new contracts, and moving large quantities of equipment all seem to happen quickly and effortlessly as all involved share a common goal.
2. Leicester’s Coach, Claudio Ranieri, was known in previous coaching jobs as one that would change his starting eleven players so much that it upset the chemistry of the team. With Leicester, he found his starting eleven and kept it. He only made 27 changes that year (compared to the previous champions making 86 changes the year before).
In Jim Collins’s book, “Good to Great,” he stresses first who, then what. “The good-to-great leaders understood three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world. If people join the bus primarily because of where it is going, what happens if you get ten miles down the road and you need to change direction? You’ve got a problem. But if people are on the bus because of who else is on the bus, then it’s much easier to change direction: “Hey, I got on this bus because of who else is on it; if we need to change direction to be more successful, fine with me.” Second, if you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away. The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great. Third, if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company.”
Med One grew because of the bus driver getting the bus full of the right people. Jobs have shifted and changed, responsibilities have evolved; with the right people on the bus, these changes don’t matter, and the direction of the bus may change, but we will be prepared for those changes.
3. As the season progressed, Leicester went from the fast-paced, reckless abandon counterattacks to more precise and clinical counterattacks. In the first half of the season, they gave up 25 goals, but after their change, they only conceded nine goals in the second half.
Med One has changed and evolved during its 30 years in business. Some of those changes are growing pains, some are necessary process shifts, but as Med One has made these very precise changes, we have become more pointed and focused on making sure the customer’s needs are met, that our employees are fulfilled and that Med One continues to succeed and is protected.
Our CEO has expressed several times how amazed he was when Med One Group did $20 million in new business in one of its earlier years. From that time, it feels like Med One has taken on some of the characteristics of that “little” soccer club in England. Med One’s united teamwork has helped make Med One what it is today.