One of the most controversial coaches in all of football is Bill Belichick, who is often described as smug and normally appears endlessly annoyed. People either love him or hate him. If you play for him, you fall in the former category and here’s why: He is a truly outstanding leader.
Belichick may not appear to be the friendliest person in the room. But to be fair, if we were asked and expected to answer the same questions repeatedly over the course of 40 plus years, we might seem grumpy too. However, to the people he leads, he is their backbone, and he charts and directs a course of success for those who rely on him. His blend of discipline and realistic empathy is born of a practical but people-centered philosophy.
Belichick revealed his 5 Rules of Exceptional Leadership in a recent interview with Suzy Welch.
Leadership means building a team that’s exhaustively prepared, but able to adjust in an instant.
Leadership means having the discipline to deploy your “dependables”.
Leadership means being the boss.
Leadership means caring about everything going on in the lives of your people.
Leadership means never resting on your laurels.
Team sports and business have a lot in common. When we have the right people in the right roles focused on a common strategic objective, the result is a highly formidable team.
We have the opportunity to emulate Belichick’s successful path to exceptional leadership in our own lives and workplace. Building a disciplined, agile team, setting the tone, making sure our people know we care about them beyond their performance, celebrating successes, and continually preparing to tackle the next challenge will keep us performing at the highest levels over the long term. And just a side note here, but my take is that it’s more fun if we can aspire to these things and also ditch the grumpy.