Leadership Lessons From The Field

The NFL playoffs continue this weekend and, for football fans who also admire leadership, it is a time to pay attention to the coaches to see what you learn.


All of the coaches have something to admire. One of the leaders I admire most is Bill Belichick of the Patriots.


He puts a premium on several things:


Team first. He works on creating a roster of people who don’t worry about individual credit. If you watch the Patriots much, you know they may win passing the ball this week and running it next week. And, it won’t be the same guys doing the running and catching. The open man and the hot hand get the call.


Situations dominate. His team is full of smart, well taught players. He and his team understand that the game is fluid. Thus, he implores them to read the situation. An accurate reading of the situation elicits the appropriate action. The greater the range of situations the players understand, the more flexible the team is in responding to the changing environment.


Do your job. The coaches take responsibility for defining the job and teaching it well. Belichick expects them to do their jobs. In the heat of the battle, he will implore them constantly: “Do your job. ”


Sports imitate life. Teach well and be well taught. Anticipate situations and react by doing your job as the situation requires.


You win more often than you lose.

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