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13 Lessons from :13

written by DWKC Events Director Jill Groebl

I think all of us watching the miraculous Chiefs/Bills AFC Divisional game are still looking back and asking ourselves “Did THAT. JUST. happen? Did the Chiefs just win possibly the biggest game of all time in :13?”

We all know the answer now. Some still in awe of Mahomes and this CLUTCH team’s unwavering spirit and determination. Some still disbelief. Some haters (yes) and some (me) continue to proudly wear the Red and Gold.

Despite being on the winning or losing side of the coin this week, I think we can all take some wins from the :13 of true NFL history listed below.

Believe spelled with a 13 in place of the I and E - designed by Flint and Field KC.
Design by Flint and Field of Kansas City

13 Lessons from :13

1) There’s always time for greatness – Down to the wire on a deadline, a RFP, a big meeting, an opportunity of a lifetime. Given a narrow window to deliver, find the time to be great, to deliver beyond, every, single, time. If it is a great opportunity, you take the time to be great, every second.

2) Trust in your Leaders, Your Champions – Leader’s lead, Champions champion. Build up your champions and trust them to get the job done. The entire Chiefs organization and fans were behind this team and the win. The trust built within a team speaks volumes and shows in winning the big ones.

3) Don’t Fear the Reaper, Be the Reaper – Fear is inevitable in life, business, relationships, big meetings, and big games. When fear comes knocking, know you knock right back. Dig deep within, find that fire to battle the fear. Reap the benefits by being the ultimate Reaper to the Grim that lurks in the waiting. And as Andy Reid says, “When it’s Grim, be the Grim Reaper.”

4) Talent is necessary, Luck is a Luxury – Finding and continually growing a Rock Star talent is necessary to consistently win and be great. Continue to put time, energy, and resources to cultivating the talent. As with the Chiefs and the Bills, both teams are stacked with prime and young talent. Luck was a luxury for the Chiefs this time. In business, luck is the luxury, celebrate the luck of the draw, never discount it, but never, ever count on it.

5) Have a plan and be prepared to adjust on an audible. In the last play in regulation to get into field goal range, the play was set, however, Kelce and Mahomes changed in the last split second with an option. They read the defense and made the change on the fly. You may have the best laid plans with your business or marketing strategy and believe it will bring you results, however, when you see how the competition is stacking up and you need a last-minute move to bring you ahead, do not be afraid to pull an audible. Trust what you know and “Go for It.”

6) Unbreakable bonds make remarkable plays. There is something to be said between the bond Mahomes and Kelse have, and it continues to get only greater. Excellent communication and synergy among team members is hard to come by and even harder to maintain over time. Listening, learning, understanding, and growing with one another builds a bond that is unbreakable. Unbreakable bonds create remarkable work. If you are fortunate enough to have effective communication and flow among your team, a co-worker, partner, a boss, mentor and/or friend, continue to nurture it, grow it make it stronger and continue to be create remarkable things together.

7) Believe in Magic – Anyone that has ever experienced a game at Arrowhead, knows the magic that happens. From the cloud of BBQ smoke in the parking to the loud chopping and chanting and explosive cries in the endzones. Magic happens in business, in life. It is there for the taking, it is there for the believers, you must be willing to believe in it and take hold of that magic wand.

8) Find Victory in Defeat – Learn from loss in life, business, relationships. There are always growth opportunities to learn and sharpen ourselves. Find ways to learn from loss, move on, get better, get stronger, get wiser, get faster. Sure, it’s the thrill of victory, but it’s the opportunity of defeat.

9) Build a Loyal and Likable fanbase – It is a fact that KC has the most insane, crazy, out of this world fan base. And aside from a few critics, we are pretty a likable fanbase, as well. From a record-breaking loud stadium and 50K social community of Chiefs Chicks to a 76,416 packed house and thousands of tailgaters lined up at sunrise on gameday. Build a fan base as loyal, loud, and likable as this one and you will never have to truly acquire a customer again.

10) Community craves Community – Sports communities are tight. The Chiefs and Bills fans rallied hard on Sunday at the end of it respected the players, the referees, the coaches, the sport and ultimately each other. As brands or businesses, we can come together, we need each other, we crave knowledge, competition, ideas, and connectivity. We cannot survive alone in the business world and need a community around us to survive, yes, but to thrive even more. A Bill’s fan wrote in a letter post-game after their devasting loss, “Oddly enough, I think that being in Kansas City, surrounded by Chiefs fans is what helped me avoid crumbling into a horrible state of depression last night…. The people in this city are phenomenal. Thank you all so much for making us feel so welcome this whole time.” Communities, even rivals, crave connection and crave one another to celebrate the great and raise each other up during devasting lows.

11) Failure’s Don’t Count - Did anyone forget Harrison Butker’s two previously failed field goal and extra point attempts in THIS game? Butker did. As he faced the goal post one last time to secure the tie in the last :04, I doubt he was numerating on his failures. As professionals, as humans, it is easy to get hung up on our failures, to relive them countlessly and to just “go there.” Going there and not going forward only holds us back. Learn from failures but do not count them. No one’s keeping score of your failed attempts, and many are waiting for your game winning play.

12) Make one more play than your opponent. In the end there is only one winner and as Josh Allen said, “They had one more play than we did.” Marketing is not rocket science, where there is a sound objective, there is a sound strategy to reach that objective. We are all playing with the same playbook, same tools, given access to the same data. Sometimes it just comes down to making one more play your opponents were not counting on. Find a way to make one more play.

13) The “Job Ain’t (ever) Finished” - So, where do we go from here? Business is won, the champagne is popped, the contract is signed. The “job ain’t over” as Patrick Mahomes said in the post-game locker room. The job (and chanting) is just beginning. Celebrate your big wins and know that the work is never done in building that business dynasty.


So ahead to the AFC Championship game this weekend, I’ll be wearing my lucky Kans-US-city T-shirt and hat alongside my daughter with her Mahomes’ jersey worn backwards. We are a tiny superstitious in this household but have a lot of belief in the number :13.

Believe in Local, Believe in Relevancy. Check out this local KC brand that capitalized on the :13 Chief’s win. Apparel – Flint & Field ( Way to put it through the uprights Flint & Field (@flintandfield) • Instagram photos and videos.

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