If You Do Your Homework, The Test Is Easy


In The Score Takes Care Of Itself, legendary San Francisco 49ers coach, Bill Walsh* says:

“Hearing someone described as being able to ‘fly by the seat of his pants’ always suggest to me a leader who hasn’t prepared properly and whose pants may soon fall down. When you’re forced to go to some version of a ‘Hail Mary Pass’ on a regular basis, you haven’t done your job.” (Walsh, Jamison & Walsh, 2010)

A lot of what we do as entrepreneurs requires flexibility, real-world feedback and on the job training.

But that doesn’t give us an excuse to forego practicing.

You can always practice sales, negotiation, behavior change, leadership and so on.

And the best time to do so, is before it’s vital to your company.


* Bill Walsh was arguably the greatest head coach in the history of the NFL. The 49ers were at absolute rock bottom before Walsh was hired. During the last 4 years before Walsh, 5 coaches were hired and only 31 out of 86 games were won. Apart from the turn around he performed, some of the strategies (i.e. The West Coast Offense) he created are still being utilized by many NFL teams, as well as many of his leadership principles. If you’re looking for a good next book to read, I highly recommend this one. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Jack Dorsey (Co-founder and CEO of Twitter) recommended it to me.


Walsh, B., Jamison, S., & Walsh, C. (2010). The score takes care of itself. New York: Portfolio.

(Apologies for not including the page number. I have the eBook and was unable to find the real page number. You can find the passage in Google Books here though, but without the page number.)

RJ Youngling