Few leaders do it as well as he does
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As I watched the Patriots defeat the Vikings today, I admit I didn’t realize that it was Coach Bill Belichick’s 200th win. As only one of 6 coaches in the NFL to reach this mark, it is quite an accomplishment. As a lifelong Patriots fan of course I am a firm “In Bill we Trust” guy and have been since he’s been in New England. It’s interesting to think though, what makes him such a good coach? Why are there so few that have the kind of success that he has? How come more coaches haven’t reached this level?
There are a few characteristics that come to mind for me that define Coach Belichick and his incredible leadership skills. First, he leads in a very different way than most do though. He is very humble. I believe humility is one of the most important characteristics a leader can possess. It shows that you know you are no better than the person standing next to you. It demonstrates that you are human being capable of flying high, and sinking low as we all are from time to time. It is a rare leader that demonstrates this quality in such a genuine fashion and is able to motivate others through it.
Second, the man is consistent. If you have ever listened to a Bill Belicheck press conference you know exactly what I mean. You would not know if the team won or lost by the sound of his interviews. He is always finding room for improvement whether in certain victory or devastating defeat. His regimen for his team is tried and true and he knows that if they follow his formula for success, the Patriots will be a winner year in and year out.
Third, he is as decisive a leader as I have seen. I can remember clearly the year that Drew Bledsoe went down at quarterback and the Patriots had to play a then unknown Tom Brady under center. When Drew was healthy enough to come back, Coach Belichick made a decision that he was going to stick with Brady. At that time, people thought he was insane. Sure Brady had won a few games that year and he was holding the hot hand, but Drew was experienced and it was very unusual for someone to lose their job due to injury. Bill didn’t listen to the outsiders, he knew what was right for the team and he stuck to his decision. He was faced later in the season with the same decision after Brady was injured in the AFC championship game and Bledsoe came in to win that game. He still stuck with Brady in the Superbowl and the rest is history as they hoisted their first of 3 Championship trophies thanks to this decision.
There is no question that Coach Belichick has additional God-given skills that the average person doesn’t have. He also grew up immersed in football as a young child watching his Dad’s successful career as head coach of the US Naval Academy team. As we all know however, we can have all of the talent in the world and not know how to use it. Bill Belichick has shown what it takes to be a great leader over a long period of time, something very few have been able to accomplish in the NFL, especially with one franchise.
Taking just a few cues from him, we can all be great leaders, not only in the world of coaching, but in our professional and personal lives. These skills are something we all possess within us that can be cultivated and nurtured through practice, training, and experience. Keep your skills sharp and always do the right thing and you too can be a humble, consistent, & decisive leader for your team as Coach Belichick has been and will be for years to come!