"Bears Have A New Coach---And A Big Lesson For Every Business In America"
They make some excellent points here. What do you guys think?
LINK to the article The Chicago Bears Have A New Coach---And A Big Lesson For Every Business In America FORBES 1/17/2013 @ 8:34AM
Brett Nelson, Contributor On investing, strategy, management, and keeping it all in perspective
If you’ve heard one sports interview you’ve heard them all. Passing for thoughtful insight are canned responses like “We gotta play like we know we can play”; “We gotta take it one game at a time”; and of course, this revelatory gem from former NFL coach John Madden: “Great football is about great football.”
A lot of what’s written on management and leadership in business amounts to weak tea, too. One familiar chestnut concerns the importance of “attracting talent.” A company, we’re relentlessly told, is “only as good as the people who work there.”
So it came as a pleasant surprise when, in a recent radio interview, I heard Hall-Of-Fame quarterback Steve Young offer an especially keen observation about the connection between talent and success—and you don’t have to be a die-hard football fan to appreciate it.
Young, who won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, was opining on the Chicago Bears’ selection of Marc Trestman as the team’s new head coach, which will be formally announced in a press conference this morning. (I’m a loyal Bears fan, so Young had my attention.) Trestman coached the Montreal Alouettes, of the Canadian Football League, to a 59-31 regular-season record and two championship titles.
Trestman is also known as a guy who can nurture quarterbacks, and the Bears arguably have one of the NFL’s best—in terms of raw talent—in Jay Cutler. But since joining the team in 2009, Cutler has only taken the Bears to the playoffs once.
While few question his arm strength, Cutler takes flack in the media for being a prima donna. Young was asked if he thought Cutler would take direction from Trestman, a more offensive-minded fellow than his predecessor Lovie Smith. It’s a predictable question, the kind that pundits and fans love to debate.
Young’s response was less illuminating about the future of Cutler and the Bears than it was about what it takes to build great businesses.
Young said some teams are just “quarterback purgatory”—a place where QBs, even talented ones, put in their time and never realize their or their team’s full potential.
What the best players want, he continued, was a “platform”—a well-oiled system with great coaching and audacious dreams. Put another way: The best players want a chance to find out how good they can be.
“They might find out they suck,” Young said, but at least they put themselves to the test. And you can’t test yourself in purgatory.
There it was: the essence of what it means to lure not just talented people, but those who want torealize their talent. It’s not the difference between “B players” and “A players.” It’s the difference between doing well and truly competing.
Yes, your business is only as good as your people. But your people, ultimately, will only be as good as the platform you give them to reach their fullest potential. That includes a clear vision, great systems, unshakable commitment and genuine inspiration. Or, as Madden might say: “Great companies are about great companies.”
Talented people will put up with a rickety platform if they’re given enough control and financial incentive—but the best won’t. They’ll want a shot at greatness.
“Why wouldn’t you want that opportunity?” asked Young in the interview.
You would, Steve, because you’re a competitor. I hope Cutler, Trestman and millions of entrepreneurs want it, too.
See also: The 23 Most Important Questions In Business.
Trestman - Kromer - Tucker - DeCamillis
I'm looking forward to seeing these guys coach. Hope they're good.
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