Matt Kaulig was recruited by Gerry Faust to be the quarterback of the University of Akron’s Division I Football Program in the early 1990’s. During his time on the practice field, in the locker room, and in the huddle, Matt developed several qualities that have stuck with him to this day. It’s what has helped him be successful. He founded LeafFilter® Gutter Protection in 2005 from the basement of his home, and today LeafFilter® has installed enough product to wrap around the Moon one and a half times. That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident, but with the skills that are honed over years.

Here are three lessons Matt learned on the football field with the Akron Zips that translated to his success as an entrepreneur, and that can help you do the same.

(1) Communication

Whether you’re in the huddle, or communicating with your team members and employees is key. Effective communication allows your team to understand their role in the organization and the ability to see how their role helps generate growth. Just like how a quarterback communicates blocking schemes or audibles to their offensive teammates, an effective business leader must continually strive to keep their employees connected and updated. When you prioritize communication that is transparent, authentic, and clear, employees are more likely to grow in engagement and ownership of the overall success of the organization.

(2) Strategy

Business, like football, is all about strategy. Think of coaches like Bill Belichick from the New England Patriots. He has been so successful on the football field because he is capable of developing long-term, winning strategies. He can see the landscape of not only what is happening today, but what needs to happen in the development of his team over the long haul. Business leaders must do the same thing. How often are you thinking about the long-term goals of your company? Get together with your executive leadership or key company leaders and start developing growth strategies and goals for every aspect of your business. You won’t be disappointed.

(3) Passion

When you’re watching a football game, it’s easy to see the passion of the players. You can see it in their actions, read it on their faces, and hear it in the celebrations after a big hit. Coaches and players alike are passionate—it’s part of the sport and the culture of football. There isn’t any reason business leaders and entrepreneurs shouldn’t be exhibiting passion for what they do as well. Matt has gotten to where he is today by being openly passionate about his businesses. His colleagues see it, his employees see it, his competitors see it. When you choose to be passionate, and let others feel it too, the passion becomes contagious. That’s a game plan for success.

“One of my biggest takeaways from my days on the football field is the necessity of passion.”

Matt Kaulig

At the end of the day, it takes effective communication, long-term strategy, and passion to win on the football field and in business. As you grow professionally as an entrepreneur and business leader, do what Matt frequently does and take a timeout to evaluate your communication, strategy, and passion. Ensure that these three ingredients are working in tandem towards accomplishing your goals.

For more tips and advice on being a better you, follow Matt on Instagram or LinkedIn