The Score Takes Care of Itself...

Written by Michael Rice, Endless LLP

I recently completed reading (for the second time) a book written by & about the legendary San Francisco 49'ers coach and General Manager, Bill Walsh.  Known in his time by the epithet "Genius", Walsh changed the way American Football was played and helped found a dynasty with the most unlikely organisation and truly terrible team.

Ostensibly a book about his philosophy on leadership, "The Score Takes Care of Itself" also provides an amazing amount of insight relevant to businesses in general and, in particular, those sorts of "special situation" that Endless invests in.

When Walsh came into the organisation, the 49'ers were universally recognised as the worst team in the National Football League.  2 years later, they won the Superbowl.  3 years later, they won it again.  From zero to hero in such a short space of time was no accident.  What the book says about Walsh and his approach provides some clear thoughts on how he believed success was achievable by any organisation:

  1. A focus on the end result only - without clarity on the steps needed to achieve this - will never lead to success.  From top level strategy to granular detail, every element of an organisation's plan has to be mapped out to support the "why"  everyone is there.  "How" and "What" are the building blocks of executing this plan.
  2. Excellence has to become the norm - from the ground up. Everyone should know what is expected of them and turn up every day to perform at their best.  And they can only do this if they have been given clarity of what is expected of them and their place in "the plan".
  3. Treating everybody with dignity and respect - through tough times and good - is vital.  People will never follow a leader, or support an organisation, where groups are allowed to form who are "better" than others.
  4. Acknowledge that everybody in your organisation has a role to play. Some of these roles may be more visible than others, but success and failure are team enterprises.  No organisation wins or loses on the back of 1 person.

Endless LLP is a UK based private equity investor with one distinct goal: to make business better for everybody. It’s why we get out of bed in the morning; why we do what we do and why we consider ourselves unique from other investment houses.  We consider the real value of our investments to be the difference we make to businesses, communities and individuals. 
A transformational investor, Endless looks to support buyouts, non-core acquisitions from larger groups, turnarounds and financial restructurings.