Identify Coachable Moments
How did Belichick earn so many rings? It didn’t come from sitting back and waiting for success to manifest out of thin air. It takes passion, grit, and countless hours of training to achieve the level of hard work worthy of securing six NFL championships.
Success, says Belichick, "is not all about talent. It's about dependability, consistency, being coachable and understanding what you need to do to improve."
Take time to coach your team on the spot. Encourage them to identify and develop any areas they are weaker in. Is one of your team members excellent at analytics and another struggling? Promote cross training on your team to help employees grow and improve. Effective leaders encourage employees to put in the work to develop skills that may be lacking to enhance the performance of the team.
One of Belichick’s biggest mentors early in his career, Bill Parcells, has high praise for the Patriot’s ability to adapt. “They do a great job of getting the players to adapt and understand that they can do different things [in different situations]. He’s the best adjustment coach in football…” he says.
In the workplace, agility is key. Like football players adapt to changes on the field, effective teams can shift priorities and pivot as needed. As a leader, it’s essential to help your team evolve and adapt. Assign the team a project that takes them outside of their comfort zone. Promoting change can also be as simple as switching seating arrangements or booking a brainstorm session outside of your usual workspace. In addition, encourage employees to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in technology and innovations in your field through reading books or listening to podcasts regularly.
When your team is agile, they’ll be able to bounce back (and learn) from mistakes and pivot without frustration when something goes wrong. Just like Belichick and the Patriots, flexibility on your team can take you far.
Focus on Your B Players
Yes, Tom Brady is a shining star, but New England’s success (and the success of your team) can’t be attributed to one player. It may be tempting to spend all your energy on the quarterbacks of your office, but it’s just as important to build up the rest of the team. The A-players (those who show up early, stay late and go above and beyond), are an essential part of the organization, but they often don’t need as much attention as you might think; they are likely top-producers on their own.
B-players are employees who have the potential to become the next Brady…they might just need a little help to get there. Take inventory of your bench: who has a strong work-ethic and desire to improve? Consider giving them a project that will stretch their skills, or recommend an online course or book that can give their career a boost.
As Belichick says, “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”
Looking for more ways to enhance or grow your team? We can help.