Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Great Example of Using Influence and Power

I came across this article through Steve Rubel’s Daily Links, and it is a great article about Tony Dungy and Steve Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. Both are amazing role models on how to be great stewards of the of power and influence they have been granted.

Drive by philanthropist.

This is just like Jim Irsay. Nobody would ever know it, but he’s always reaching out to people in need. He never seeks credit for this stuff, in fact he never mentions it. Sometimes he reaches out and writes big checks for people in need. Sometimes he reaches out to call people who have written letters to him. Either way, this is how he operates. He realizes that he has a responsibility to use the position he has been given to help others. And when he sees someone in need and feels his heart moved, he takes action.

Irsay and the Colts are an amazing example how influence and character from the top can quickly affect everyone in the organization. If we could find more leaders like Irsay and Dungy in this world we would not have to worry about anymore corporate scandals.


NFL Leadership Styles


It is interesting to see how leadership styles come and go in the NFL. For the past couple of years during the Patriots reign, Bill Belichick, and his paranoid, scientific style was the craze around the league. He knew the opposing team better than the team knew them self a lot of the times, and he brought in players not with big names, but that would the system.

Years before Belichick,it was Bill Parcells and his strong disciplinarian style that was popular. Parcells would use tactics like yelling to get his players to do what was needed.

Now, as the Super Bowl is about to start in a few hours, a new leadership style has emerged from the two head coaches, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith; a servant style. It is not just a style to them, but it reflects their lifestyle. It is the fact that this is a lifestyle and not just a leadership style that makes it the most challenging, yet most affective way to lead.

We see the popularity of the “servant” leader grow in popularity starting with Robert Greenleaf, but also with movements like Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus and Herb Baum’s transparent leader. Could this be the way to lead that will stick? The amazing thing about all these movements is that it does not start with a strategy or tactic on how to lead others to success, but the understanding that you must lead yourself first and then understanding it is not about yourself.

No matter who wins tonight, both coaches realize that there is more than life than championships. There is the life of serving others and changing the world.

Sometimes we just have to step off our foundation

I came across this video of Tony Dungy speaking last year at the Super Bowl Breakfast. The amazing thing about the speech is that when most people are under the spotlight they sometimes step off their foundation, but Dungy didn’t. He was open and sincere about his beliefs, something we all struggle with when are pressured to not stand out in the crowd.

As we have seen in the early 21st century with corporations like Enron, when you step off your foundation and seek for yourself you will finally fall. No matter what you believe stand firm in them. It is risk to be different, but it can also have its rewards. As a leader what will you do when you are under pressure?

What is your best?

I found the following clip from Kevin Eikenberry’s blog and it is an amazing illustration on how leaders will limit themself in what they are capable of. It is amazing to see the difference we think we can do and what we can do. How many times do we limit ourself in what we can do just because we feel we cannot do it? How much it would it help if we had a friend or a leader besides encouraging you the whole way and believes in you?

Keeping your head up


After Tony Romo fumbled the ball in tonight’s NFC Wild Card game, he went to the sideline and sat by himself with his head down while the Seahawks were on the field. As I mentioned in my last post, the main job of a leader is to provide hope, and in this situation that Romo did not provide even when there was still a small shot for them to win at the end.

There is time when a leader is able to reflect on their short comings, but when there is an opportunity to be make up for those short comings it is the leader’s job to give their team hope and to prepare them for success.

Football Leadership Analogy

During a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a former boss where I interned at while in college he came up with a very interesting leadership analogy using football.

Most of the time we think a leader should be like the quarterback, but he said that a leader should be more like the offensive line. The quarterback calls the plays and gets the attention, while the offensive linemen are the ones who create the holes for the running back or a pocket for the quarterback’s protetion, and they get the least amount of attention. The offensive linemen are the ones who show the other players the way to success as a leaders job is to show his followers the way to success and protect them from getting hit.

How many times do leaders feel that by telling where to go is enough for success and then if there is success take all the credit? Leaders need to be in the trenches and pave the way for success for the players behind them and ultimately for the whole team.