After two weeks it’s pretty obvious that I’m a huge fan of music. But did you know that I’m a sports fanatic? Specifically a Philly sports phanatic? See what I did there? 😉

Yes, I am a Philadelphia sports fan which is a direct cause of my anxiety, self-doubt, and constant stomach pains – according to my sister.  My family has been Eagles season ticket holders for over 20 years, and have attended countless 76ers, Flyers, and Phillies games. We’ve screamed in joy and in frustration at the Spectrum, Veterans Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, and the CoreStates Center/First Union Center/Wachovia Center/Wells Fargo Center. While most families enjoy Sunday meals together around the dining room table, my family was scarfing down tailgate food in fold out chairs on the asphalt of a parking lot.  That’s how we roll.

From left to right: Me, my daughter Madeline, sister Shannon, and niece Quinn on the sidelines during the Eagles vs Bears game in 2017.

From left to right: Me, my daughter Madeline, sister Shannon, and niece Quinn on the sidelines during the Eagles vs Bears game in 2017.

For those keeping score, my top five Philadelphia sports moments are as follows:

#5: Iverson Stepping Over Tyronn Lue – Game 1 of 2001 NBA Finals

#4: Miracle at the Meadowlands Number Two

#3: Flyers vs Bruins, Game 7 (to complete the historic comeback)

#2: Phillies winning the World Series

#1: Eagles winning the Super Bowl

For the purposes of today, I want to focus on how or why those moments actually happened, Sure, the players are responsible for 99% of those moments, but they wouldn’t have had that opportunity were it not for coaching. In each situation above, my team wasn’t flashy, wasn’t loaded with all-time greats, or even expected to win. In fact, almost all of the teams they faced in those situations went on to win the championship that year or the following year. How did they do it? How did they pull it off?

Don’t get me wrong, those Philadelphia teams had talent, but all of them were facing some level of adversity. Some issues were on the field (injuries, etc.) and some were off the field. The underlying component to the success of each of those teams, in that particular moment, was the ability of the coach to pull it all together. They were able to motivate, adapt, and instill confidence in each player that they can do this – and that if each of them did their job, collectively as a team, they would pull through.

Larry Brown rallied that 76ers team to hand the LA Lakers their only playoff loss in 2001, and produced the iconic Iverson step over clip. Andy Reid somehow kept his teams’ focus, even when down three touchdowns with seven minutes to play, on the road, against a Super Bowl caliber team. The Flyers were down 0-3 in the series AND then 0-3 in Game 7, but Peter Laviolette kept that team settled and focused on one win (goal) at a time. The City of Philadelphia hadn’t won a title in 25 years, yet somehow Charlie Manuel never let that Phillies team crack on their way to winning the World Series in 2008. And finally, overcoming injury after injury, Doug Pederson instilled confidence in a team that they could beat the GOATs Tom Brady and Bill Belichick…and they did.

Each coach had different managerial styles. Some were easy-going (Manuel) and some were hot-headed (Laviolette). But there were consistent traits wrapped around each of them. They had an ability to understand situations, refocus, motivate, and put their players and team in the best situation to win. Those traits are not only the sign of a good coach but of a good COO – and that is the Lesson Learned today: COO must be able to coach. There may not be titles on the line or $100 million contracts, but the process and outcomes are measured the same, whether you are the Phillies manager or COO of ENX2. It’s on you–the coach/COO needs to read the environment, know when to push, when to pull back, and constantly tinker to position your team for greatness. Your tenure as coach/COO is measured by wins and successes. Too many failures and you will be shown the door.

In my first year at ENX2, I find myself tinkering with processes – whether it’s a new on-boarding process, online ticket/customer service platform, or target market analysis exercise – all in an effort to put our team in the best position to succeed. Our team thrives on creativity – so it’s on me to integrate processes that allow our team time to be creative. Our CEO & Founder Nicole Farber had done an amazing job at identifying and hiring talent to build the ENX2 brand – and that process continues as our Talent Coordinator Mariah Curtis is leading the charge in adding new team members to ENX2 as I write this blog. As COO I must demonstrate an ability to “coach” this tremendously talented team to victory, even as the lineup shuffles. To me, that means the following:

  • Understand Nicole’s vision and figure out how to get there;
  • Communicate that vision to our team and motivate when that goal seems so far away;
  • Constantly analyze to adjust strategies and processes when necessary;
  • Remind the team that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train;  
  • Know when to give time off and when to push through an all-nighter;
  • Provide opportunities for each of them to improve and hone their skills; 
  • Remind that innovation and creativity come from all corners of the room;
  • Work smarter not harder; and
  • Most importantly – we win as a team and we lose as a team.

What do you think? Is being a COO the same as being a coach? How can I get better? Am I crazy for being a Philly sports fan? Hard-hitting questions. Drop me a line at [email protected]. I love feedback.

Side Note

As I mentioned in my first blog – in particular the Side Note section – there are just some songs that invoke a crystal clear memory or moment in my life. Since we ventured down the Philadelphia Sports path, I thought it would only be right to identify some songs that correlate to specific Philly Sports moments. These songs may have been played at the stadium during or after these moments or it could have been a particular song played during a tailgate. Either way, these songs always spark a memory. And full disclaimer, this list is all over the place and doesn’t mean I like the song – it just sparks such vivid memories for me. Here we go:

#5: Sorry, Not Sorry – Demi Lovato. Told you it’s all over the place. This song seemed to play every time we drove down or tailgated during the Eagles Super Bowl Run. So much so, that we played it prior to the big game out of superstition (it totally worked).

#4: Lido Shuffle – Boz Scaggs. Seriously – all over the place. The Eagles had a player by the name of Lito Sheppard. Every time he made a play, they blasted this song on the PA. The most fondest memory being his 102-yard INT touchdown to seal the game against the Cowboys.

#3: Here Come the Sixers – Reed Streets. The anthem for the Sixers and the song played after every win. In my family chat, the “Play the Song” message notes a sixers win. I dare you to listen to the song and not tap your feet or clap your hands.

#2: High Hopes – Frank Sinatra. This song was always belted out by the famous Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, including on the field after the Phillies won the World Series.

#1: Dream and Nightmares (Intro) – Meek Mill. This song became the rallying anthem for the underdog Eagles during their Super Bowl run and was actually used as their intro song for the Super Bowl.