What Businesses Can Learn from Gonzaga


I love basketball. Played it in high school even if it was split court in the good old days of girls’ basketball when forwards and guards never crossed the center line and were restricted to two short dribbles. Good thing that ended!

However, Monday night’s Baylor victory over Gonzaga was painful to watch. A perfect season is coming to such an unexpected end; the high from their victory over UCLA was deflated by Baylor’s fantastic performance.

Yet, as business folks, there is much to learn from the program that brought Gonzaga to an almost perfect season. In fact, Gonzaga’s athletic director says, “In my view, college athletics is no different than business. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. When people say, I’ve got this thing figured out. I don’t have to work at getting better anymore, turn around. That’s the direction you’re going.”

That consistent effort at getting better is captured in this Yahoo! Sports story that focuses on 7 key success builders. Business, as well as basketball, can benefit from these:

  1. A change in mindset! Become Division I and compete with the best.
  2. Market Gonzaga better! Change the logo and the color scheme and promote.
  3. Fake it till we make it! Coach Few rented a Cadillac to visit recruits.
  4. Define a winning culture and sustain it! Gonzaga IS what they stand for.
  5. Recruit the best that fit the culture! Seek good players; good students; good guys.
  6. Never rest on past success! Gonzaga missed perfect by 1; they’ll be back in 2022.
  7. Pump money into it! Gonzaga opened a $25 million arena in 2004.


It’s a good read; it’s a good reminder for all of us in business to believe you can do it and never give up!

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Maureen Bagg, VP of Client Services, Corporate Images

Maureen Bagg is a dedicated business resource to her clients, providing sales and marketing support along with virtual selling training and consultation. Reach her at 262-633-7772 or email mbagg@corporate-images.com.


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