Whether you’re a fan of either team or not, you couldn’t have asked for a better Super Bowl match-up: The Seattle Seahawks’ #1 Defense vs. the Denver Broncos’ #1 Offense. Many were predicting this game to go down in history as the greatest ever played. But the hype was short-lived as the game was already over by halftime. The Seahawks eventually cruised to a 43-8 victory capturing the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy. They say “Offense wins games, defense wins championships” and last night’s Super Bowl proved that once and for all, or at least until next season.
But the Seahawks attributed their success this season to more than just their defense. Rather, they believe their distinct advantage comes from “the 12th Man;” the name given to their fan-base who is recognized as the loudest in the NFL. Throughout the course of the season, the Seahawks used this home field advantage to invoke penalties and turnovers on opposing teams and, as a result, their stadium has become one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.
The “12th Man” concept has not only given them a competitive advantage on the field, it has given them a distinct advantage when it comes to customer engagement. Before each home game, a flag with the number 12 on it is hoisted high above the stadium in honor of the 12th man. This, among other gestures, has created a culture of connectivity in which fans feel as though they have a significant impact on the outcome of a game.
As leaders, we should take a page from the Seahawks’ playbook. Identify what it is that sets you apart from your competition and leverage that. For organizations, this could be a product, service, or customer experience unique to your organization. As business professionals, it could also mean a specific set of skills that sets you apart from the crowd.