It’s tough for me to pick a favorite team in tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Given some of the similarities between the Broncos and the Seahawks, it’s not surprising that I like both teams.
Both the Broncos and the Seahawks feature very likeable quarterbacks and outstanding head coaches. The starting quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning, seem like outstanding leaders who combine real competence with humility, positivity, and a sense of humor. Peyton Manning is coming back from a very difficult neck surgery, so certainly it would be nice to see his comeback completed with a Super Bowl victory. Russell Wilson is in just his second year of professional football. But he has seemingly done everything right after surprising everyone and winning the starting quarterback job last season. It’s not easy to make it to the Super Bowl and players, when they do get there, never know if they’ll make it back to the big game again. So it would also be nice to see Wilson win his first Super Bowl.
And then, there are the coaches. When you hear the players talk about John Fox of the Broncos and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks, it’s almost as if they are talking about the same coach. Players from both teams describe their respective coaches as enthusiastic, passionate, positive, and players’ coaches who really care about the individuals on their teams. You get a feeling that the players genuinely care about their coaches and want to win this game as much for the coaches as they do for themselves. In a survey this year of NFL players, Pete Carroll was the coach most players wanted to play for and Fox finished third. Maybe it’s not just coincidence that these two coaches are in the Super Bowl?
Also, both Fox and Carroll have been head coaches for other teams in the NFL. Although their previous stints at the helm of other NFL franchises did not go so well, they were given second chances to lead these teams. And of course we know now, they have rewarded the teams that took a chance on them by leading them to the Super Bowl.
I subscribe to the leadership philosophy that says if you take care of the people on the front lines, the ones in the trenches getting the work done, they’ll take care of you. If your people know you care, they will be loyal to you and work hard for you. Pete Carroll and John Fox both take care of their players and, in return, their players are loyal to them and have worked hard to get their teams to the Super Bowl. It’s great to see their leadership style lead to such success. Maybe other leaders will see this and decide to give this philosophy a try. How about you? Are you a “players’ coach?” Do you take care of your team members? If not, maybe the success of Pete Carroll and John Fox will encourage you to give it a try.
They say nice guys finish last. Well tomorrow that won’t be the case. Tomorrow, we are guaranteed that some nice guys will finish first. Whether it’s Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll or Peyton Manning and John Fox, a couple really nice guys will finish first and be Super Bowl Champions.
Thanks for reading,
Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62510-731-2