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5 Leadership Lessons of Bill Belichick


This past Super Bowl was very exciting. Regardless of who you were rooting for, we all were watching something truly historic. Bill Belichick, who now has more Super Bowl wins as a head coach than anyone ever, is a different type of leader. He doesn't have a book of quotes on wisdom or a pyramid of success, he is not on social media, he is not personable with the press and even dresses questionable for the occasion (typically in a game he wears a sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off with hoodie up). Yet, you can not deny he is successful in his endeavors. How and why?

Taking Coach Belichick's quotes here are 6 lessons on Leadership we can learn from the Greatest NFL Coach of All Time.  

1. "I think practice preparation is always an indicator of game performance.”

Belichick took a job with the Baltimore Colts right out of college for a measly $25 a week. He served as a sort of gopher for head coach Ted Marchibroda. He would also volunteer his free time to watch endless hours of game film for the team. He soon became an expert in finding tendencies and weakness of the other teams. Belichick developed a skill in his first job that most delegate out and he uses it to his advantage now. What are you learning now that can serve you in the future? What sets you apart from the rest of the crowd?

2. "No one player is greater than the team"

There is really only one superstar on the Patriots. That is Tom Brady. So Bill Belichick, who also serves as the Manager of personnel on the team, finds players that fit into what he is trying to accomplish. Everyone has a job and everyone fits into a team. No one individual is above another. They always have a great offensive line and skill players on short contracts. Keeps them accountable. Want too much money or think you are worth more than anyone else on the team, traded! The players know that. 

3. “I grew up watching my Dad scout games live”

If anything Coach Belichick is a student and master of the game. He changes his tactics and schemes constantly. The one thing the Patriots always do so well, they play to their competition. They practice so many different fronts, looks, and formations. His dad was a long time Assitant coach and college football scout. Belichick studied how his father dissected game film and drew up plays, and often accompanied him to coaches meetings. By his early teens, Belichick was a regular part of the team's practices and was well-versed in the game's schemes and formations. In this last Super Bowl, the Patriots were losing 28 - 3 and everytime the camera found Belichick on the sideline he was talking with his players showing them formations and notes. Lineman, defensive safeties, running backs, it didn't matter. Everyone was getting coached by the greatest in the game.  

4. “Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling”

I once heard Belichick say he looks for players that Love the Game of Football and care about winning. Character is important to Belichick. Everyone in the NFL is talented. They are some of the most athletic human beings on the planet. However, unless you are willing to go beyond yourself and work for a common goal you will not last will Belichick's team. That is literally the "Patriot way."

People that work hard and legitimately do everything that they can, they tend to be luckier.     - Julian Edelman

5. “I don't Twitter, I don't MyFace, I don't Yearbook"

Another quote that I could have put here is, "ignore the noise." Belichick is famous for not giving the press the time of day with his short dry answers. He is not going to give the "noise" opportunities to distract his team toward their goal. It is not my style, however you notice that his team loves playing for him. He isn't your typical Ra-Ra football coach who is overly emotional. Every member of the team knows their role and is (like Belichick is famous for stating often) "Doing their job."

The Patriots are not well liked. It is easy to root against them. However, there isn't a player in the league that will not want to play for that team. They take care of everything in-house. There are no facebook live videos inside the locker room, or dumb quotes on social media, or even fights inside their organization. It is professional and they have a set vision with clear expectations. 

Lets me end with this one last quote I heard from a commentator during the Super Bowl this past Sunday. 

"Players today would not want to play for Vince Lombardi. They do want to play for Bill Belichick"