Sports metaphors abound in business. You develop a game plan, kick off the new program, and hope for a home run or touchdown. If the plan is not universally hailed, you might denigrate critics as Monday morning quarterbacks, or, if they're especially powerful, you could either do an end run around them or touch base with some of the more influential pacesetters to persuade them to join your team. If no one sidelines you, you have to implement the game plan, which is likely to require quite a bit of teambuilding and coaching. However, if you don't have deep bench strength and you're in danger of striking out or fumbling, you might need to call in a pinch hitter or someone who can take the ball and run with it. The very last thing you want is for some competitor to come out of left field and go toe to toe with you before you can field your best players. But if it happens, you have to be ready to play hardball.
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