The fall season is a great time of year for college football fans. Each year, for the most part, the same teams are at the top of the polls, led by many of the same coaches. In my opinion, successful college coaches are the ones that lead their team to the top of the polls and stay there year after year. The same thing can be said of coaches who build a strong program from one that has been weak or have built strong programs at different universities.
Successful college football coaches, the ones that develop the types of programs that are successful year in and year out, are headed by leaders with exceptional skills and abilities. The characteristics of these leaders are similar to the characteristics of successful advisory firm leaders.
Here are eight characteristics I believe both successful college football coaches and successful advisory firm leaders have in common; traits that consistently keep them at the top of the rankings.
· Be good at the X’s and O’s (technical skills)- A great football coach has incredible technical knowledge and knows exactly what he wants to accomplish in all phases of the game. He knows what plays should be run in particular situations and how to respond to what the other team is trying to do.
· Recognize that your staff plays a key role in your success- Great coaches recognize the importance of building a strong staff and surrounding themselves with staff with strong technical skills to handle other areas of the organization. They recognize the importance a great staff plays in his success and the success of the program. They ask for opinions, suggestions, or advice so the staff can contribute to the team’s success.
· Be willing to delegate authority to your staff- Along with recognizing how important your staff is to your overall success, is allowing the staff to make critical decisions. They are also able to identify the skills each staff member brings to the staff and to utilize these strengths. The leader can’t do everything. Let your staff do what they do best.
· Recognize and develop talent- Great football coaches not only hire great staffs, they are great at filling the right roles with the right people- people who have the skills to succeed in these roles. They are also extremely good at recruiting the types of players and getting them to buy in to their overall long-term strategy. As a college football coach, this is probably the biggest factor in their success- getting talent to attend their university and then developing the talent to its fullest potential.
· Be good at motivating the team- Similar to being able to recognize and develop talent is the ability to motivate the talent. Great coaches also see the skills of each team member and that of the entire team. They are also very skilled at getting the entire organization to see what the team can accomplish and motivating each team member to give 100% week after week for the entire season.
· Set expectations and hold the team accountable- Great coaches understand that a large part of their job requirement is to get the most from each player and are able to do that. They also set high expectations (goals) for the team’s success and hold the team accountable for reaching these goals.
· Be able to quickly analyze, evaluate, and make decisions- Things happen quickly during the course of a game. Head Coaches need to make many split-second decisions throughout the course of the game to carry out their strategy for that game. Opponents change schemes that force a coach to change plays and/or players. When the clock is ticking or when halftime provides a short time to evaluate and communicate changes, the great coaches are able to quickly adapt and make the correct changes.
· Be a great communicator and connect with the team on a personal level- Great coaches are able to clearly communicate their strategy so that the entire team knows exactly what they are trying to accomplish and how they are going to do it. They are able to relate to their staffs and players on a level that is deeper than football. They can relate to their teams as people other than just football coaches and players. Players want to play for coaches like this and employees want to work for leaders who are great communicators.
Many of these characteristics are also what college recruits look for in deciding what college to attend. Similarly, employees look for many of these characteristics when evaluating an employer.
How are you performing as the “Head Coach” of your team?
Continue to “coach ‘em up” and lead your team to becoming a perennial powerhouse!
Build your business wisely.