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Leadership Development

Leadership Lessons from Super Bowl-Winning Coaches

SuperBowl_BWThe Super Bowl may be over, but some of us are still wondering when Joe Namath had time to raid Liza Minelli’s closet, swooning over Bruno Mars’ performance, deperately trying to forget the GoDaddy “Bodybuilder” ad, or carrying some extra “Super Bowl weight” (thanks a lot, Totchos).

As the excitement over the game half-time show and commercials finally subsides, however, let’s take some time to reflect on Super Bowls past and what we learned from those who won them. After all, leadership and coaching go hand-in-hand, and the discipline and drive it takes to win is often true in the business world.

Take a look at some leadership lessons and advice from some of NFL’s greatest coaches – who not only boast Super Bowl wins (and some losses), but hold Hall of Fame spots as well (translation: they probably know what they’re talking about):

Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers:

Lombardi

  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
  • “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
  • “Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.”

Bill Parcells, New York Giants:

bill parcells

  • “When you don’t know that you don’t know, it’s a lot different than when you do know that you don’t know.”
  • “The players deserve a chance to win.  And you as the head coach have an obligatory responsibility to give it to them.”
  • “Success is never final, but failure can be.”

Don Shula, Miami Dolphins:

don shula

  • “I don’t know any other way to lead but by example.”
  • “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.”
  • “The one thing that I know is that you win with good people.”

Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers:

chuck noll

  • “Never make a major decision based solely on money.”
  • “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing.”
  • “Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it.”

Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys:

tom landry

  • “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.”
  • “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do to achieve what they want to achieve.”
  • “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

Tell us: What football-related quotes have inspired you as a leader?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.

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