The Ross Report: Monday, February 6: Management Lessons from the Super Bowl

As a long-time investor, when I invest into a deal, I’m buying management talent and not so much the underlying product or service. A great management team can make a success of a business idea that’s just OK. But mediocre management can mess up even a great product or service.

Part of management is knowing when to be very aggressive and when to play it a bit safer.

Last night, with about five minutes left in regulation time and leading the New England Patriots by 8 points, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan decided to play aggressively even though they were already in field goal range.

Those three points would have make it extremely difficult for the Patriots to complete their incredible comeback.

All Atlanta needed to do was run the ball, run the ball, run the ball, take time off the clock, kick a field goal, and then celebrate a glorious victory over the greatest quarterback in football history, Tom Brady, a guy who has now cemented that reputation beyond any reasonable doubt.

In other words, although aggressive play has been the hallmark of Atlanta’s season, and although their coach said after the game that he didn’t regret Shanahan’s play calls, Atlanta lost a game they were firmly in control of by overvaluing what had worked for them before and not recognizing that they were in an entirely different situation, against an entirely different opponent.

This is the same mistake President Donald Trump seems to have made with his rushed and overbroad travel ban to the United States. He did what had worked for him for months without realizing that his opponents were far more formidable than Hillary Clinton or even than Congress on this issue. President Trump better handle this carefully or risk his presidency turning into the Atlanta Falcons’ season.

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