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Game Planning for the Future

Game Planning for the Future
29 Sep 2023

Here’s a little about me – I’m a huge Ohio State fan, and while I enjoy my local NFL team – Go Jags – the Cleveland Browns are my team on Sundays. I’ll just go ahead and make my predictions for the College National Championship and Super Bowl LVIII match ups now:

  • Georgia vs. Ohio State (of course I would pick them)
  • San Francisco vs. Cleveland Browns (now this is just 50+ years of hoping)

College football headlines and our social feeds have been dominated by Deion Sanders’ impact on the University of Colorado Buffs this season. And now, that very uncomfortable loss against Oregon.

Whether you’re a fan of Coach Prime or not, there’s something to be said about the team’s dramatic turnaround – even after a ‘good ole’ fashion butt kicking’. (Coach Prime’s words not mine.)

A recent USA Today article said this about the movement in Colorado, “the latest prime example of a budding and beloved culture in Boulder.”

For the Buffs, the culture is being built on discipline, hard work, accountability, and Coach Prime’s favorite word, ‘Belief.’ Well, that and his personal swagger – sunglasses, anyone? My style may be a little more chill, but I can respect his play to build a brand and rally those around him.

Let me ask you this: If someone looked inside your business right now or interacted with your ‘players’ how would they describe your culture?

It’s something I’ve had on my mind after a recent Jags game where a fellow business leader and friend asked me what ‘Kool-Aid’ my team members were drinking after he met them at the game. What he experienced was a group of individuals from every division of our company – ocean, marketing, logistics, international – all laughing and having a great time.

He couldn’t see where one division started and the next ended, and he certainly couldn’t get how all of them sang the same praises about our company culture and my leadership style. For me, seeing the group together at the game was just a reflection of how we treat each other within the walls of our offices every day.

When I think about what we’ve done at Trailer Bridge and the things Coach Prime is doing in Boulder, I see a few common themes that I believe are key to building a culture that our people can get behind.


Know your people, I mean really know them. What’s their partner’s name, how old are their kids? Are they interested in football – golf – baseball. This is about creating a community and building relationships across the organization.

No one person on the team is more important than the other, and each brings value to the plays we make day in and day out.


My mentor, CJ Charlton, told me a long time ago your handshake meant everything. You must keep your word, even when it is difficult. When you consistently do this, you build trust with the team and create an environment where everyone wants to play the game.

Find your why

Coach Prime talks about his favorite word ‘belief’ and uses this as the team’s north star. He wants them to KNOW that they can win against any team. For us at Trailer Bridge, our why is driven by a commitment to serve others. It’s about making the block needed to score the touchdown.

With the current state of our industry, your team may be 0-1 this season and spirit may be low but in the words of Coach Prime, ‘keep making plays.’ Keep investing in your business. Keep developing your employees. Keep calling on that prospect or customer. The market will turn and when it does, it’s about having a team ready to win.

In this month’s e-newsletter, we have put together a playbook full of useful content to prepare you for the game of logistics.

Now, ‘Give me my theme music…’