How to Draft Your Team Like a Winning NFL Coach

How to Draft Your Team Like a Winning NFL Coach

In his daily devotional, “The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge,” former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy shared his strategy for selecting players in an NFL draft. As you may know, a team’s draft pick can make or break a franchise because of the amount of time and money invested in each player.

During the draft process, Dungy evaluates the list of potential picks and writes DNDC (“Do Not Draft because of Character”) next to the names of people with character flaws. This may seem harsh, but he understands the costly, long-term effects of having a player with poor character on his team.  

Too often, teams seek short-term results while ignoring long-term problems. In order to avoid this pitfall, you should implement Dungy’s stringent criteria when drafting your customer base. Similarly, your customers should use the same criteria when choosing you as their financial planning professional. 


Drafting Your Best Team:

  • Be someone of outstanding character who is worthy of being drafted by your clients

  • Match your best practices with the right prospects – if your view of retirement planning does not align with your prospect’s vision, you should have the fortitude to walk away from the potential business

  • Don’t be distracted by short term results; remain focused on your clients’ best interests over time – with increasing longevity, a retiree may be your client for at least 25-30 years, so it’s critical to maintain a clear vision of their future  

  • Educate your clients on their need for a specific return, instead of only striving to beat the market index each year

  • Constantly strive toward developing new alternatives and services – as millennials age and client demographics change, you must adapt to meet their needs, specifically through technology

  • Remain flexible in an ever-changing world without compromising your long-term focus

Adjusting to the new fiduciary standards may seem difficult, but you can mitigate risks – for your clients and your business – by following Coach Dungy’s simple rule: Do Not Draft because of Character. 


Winning Strategy

Align the vison of the client, yourself, and your staff in the retirement planning process. If you don’t feel the client shares your long-term vision for their future, do not engage with them.  Invest your time in better-suited clients and strategies to create your own winning team.   


About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.