Forbes recently put out an article arguing that the New England Patriots have this uncanny approach to their team that, in short, delivers results. Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have gone 226-80, 26-10 in the postseason with five Super Bowl wins; the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach (out of 8 Super Bowl appearances). There is no question that Bill’s coaching ability has played a major role in the Pats Dynasty. The lessons, choices, and adjustments he’s made exemplify applicable moves that can be made to your business to have a similar impact.
Don’t Add to Your Business, Build onto It
Building a team takes the right kind of acquisition process. It is well-known that Bill doesn’t think about, or at least doesn’t answer about, questions that aren’t his top priority at the very moment. A reporter once asked Bill during a press conference before a road matchup against the Denver Broncos. The report asks, “I was just wondering, who do you think over the years has been better at putting the media in its place, you or Bill Parcells?” His response followed, “Denver’s the target this week. I know you’ve got all that other stuff on your mind, but right now I’m focused on Denver. Sorry we can’t connect on that.”
There are plenty of externals that happen around the NFL, but when you’re running a team you’re not focused on anything but your job. Values he exemplifies come from his father, which is notoriously ‘Do Your Job’. Forbes’ article explains the hiring of Matt Patricia when his career was going toward rocket science. “He demonstrated his toughness and work ethic enough for Belichick to offer him an entry-level assistant coaching job. When Matt paused to check with his wife, Belichick took that as a sign of lack of devotion and pulled the offer. Matt had to fight to get that offer back” the article wrote. Matt Patricia was then the defensive coordinator and now is going to continue his career as the Detroit Lions next head coach.
The significance of this move would be to consider the long-term of your business when hiring. It doesn’t matter how the employee would be evaluated by other companies or businesses, it’s about the right employees, not the best. What an employee can’t do isn’t important, but what they can bring to your business in any aspect is to be brought to light in order to help you make your decision.
Preparation in Detail
CNBC contributor Suzy Welch spoke with the NFL coach about a year ago and noted Bill’s unreal sense of preparation before any (and all) games. “He has a methodology for winning,” says Welch, adding that he had a “superhuman fixation on preparation.” Preparing for every game is no doubt something that he is very open about.
There’s a special attention to detail before every single game even during the regular season. His coaching style has this element of how every game is won or lost before you step on the field.
Every coach, assistant coach, and player reviews tape after tape as to what they’re up against. If you followed along with the Tom versus Time Facebook Watch series, the episodes go into depth over how much tape Tom Brady reviews before every game. Every turn of the head players make the millisecond before the snap, every hip motion before a rushing blitz, and so much more.
This strategy goes hand in hand when it comes to your business; preparing, quantifying preparation and recognizing when it’s time to prepare and when it’s time to perform. These things will be able to organize your processes and prioritize business activities. This includes knowing when the focus needs to be attended towards external activities versus internal activities.
Evolve and Innovate
Bill Belichick (and many would credit Robert Kraft as well) help made the dynasty with his innovative ability to adjust to his current environment. The Forbes article quotes Tony Dungy by saying that Bill is the “best adjustment coach in football.” As with any great coach, the Patriot’s staff constantly evaluates the team for ways to get better. A perfect example of this is how New England used their two tight-end offense, famously used with Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui. There are plenty of examples of how coaching decisions have made huge impacts on their success. Sure, you can thank Brady and his record-breaking career – but Belichick has also gone 13-6 (.684) in games since 2001 in games not started by Brady. And according to ESPN, no team besides the Patriots has posted a winning percentage higher than .684 since Belichick signed Brady.
Adjust, adjust, adjust. If your business can prepare with every detail in mind as I’ve mentioned before, then your investment is wasted if you cannot perform adjustments to maneuver your business to success. As Bill has said before, “Mental toughness is going out there and doing what’s best for the team – even though everything isn’t going exactly the way you want it to.”
Do Your Job – you’re not hiring people because other’s businesses (in other industries especially) might value them. You hire because you want to build onto your team. It’s not about the best employees, it’s about the right ones.
Preparation is key. Focus on your priorities and know what you need in the long-run. External activities may need more attention for the bigger picture when many are faulted over their over-attentiveness on internal activities.
Innovation and evolution is key. Adjustments must be made in order to progress, and if you’ve prepared like Bill then you should trust in what you’ve built and what you’ve learned in your decisions.
Developing great leadership skills is important - and like Bill, it's not uncommon to acquire knowledge from the wisdom of others and by example. Check out some leadership links below for more insight.