Some people say that Vince Lombardi was the greatest football coach of all time.

In 1959, he took over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. The Packers had won only one game the previous season and hadn’t had a winning season in over a decade.

He opened his first team meeting with a stern, “Gentlemen, I have never been on a losing team and I don’t intend to start now with you guys.”

Then, he held a football high up in the air and announced “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

Lombardi would be the first to tell you that strategy is important… but he believed that the key to success is mastering the basics. He demanded that his star players practice the fundamentals of the game every day–catching, blocking and tackling. He dedicated countless hours to perfecting each and every part of every play.

The first year with Lombardi, the Packers ended the season with a record of 7 wins and 5 losses.

The following season, they had 8 wins and 4 losses, won the Western Conference title and played in the Super Bowl. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles that year, but to call their 2-year turnaround “impressive” would be a gross understatement.

In their third season with Lombardi, the Packers went 11 and 3 and pounded the New York Giants 37–0 in their second trip to the Super Bowl.

In 10 years with Vince Lombardi at the helm, the Packers had a winning record of 35 and 6 with multiple Super Bowl wins.

Lombardi didn’t start with new players when he took over. He didn’t run a bunch of surprising new plays. His team won using a straightforward methodical system—executing the basics to near perfection.

In your business it may be tempting to look for new strategies and gimmicks to be successful. But if you get your team to practice the basics, you’ll find success quickly.

Practice the basics, and keep REACHING…