football as leadership training…

Aaron Rogers & Clay Matthews

On August 9th, I watched (live and in person) my favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, play a pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers.  I had never been to a game, but when I was growing up Packer games were, and still are, a big deal in Wisconsin!

Last year I read That First Season, by John Eisenberg, about Vince Lombardi‘s leadership and ultimate success as a coach of the Packers.  The leadership lessons in this book apply to leaders in the workplace just as they do on the field.  Every Sunday (or Thursday, or Monday, or….you know) great demonstrations of leadership can be seen both on the field and off.  Poor demonstrations can also be observed.  Being strategic, knowledgeable, and confident are important to success in football by the players and by the coaches, whether quarterback or defensive coach.  But each of these leadership qualities must begin by executing consistently with emotional intelligence (i.e., the ability to stay focused and not overtaken with emotion) during successes and failures.  Vince Lombardi consistently demonstrated stability and confidence to the team by starting with superior emotional intelligence.  He executed optimal decision-making and led the team to success time and time again.  Without this key ability, the best decisions may have failed during execution.

If you want to learn more about an important leader from a sports perspective with lessons that can apply to you or your workforce, check out this book or others about this important coach.  Watching a game with this in mind may bring a new perspective to the game, as well as heightened respect for those that succeed on the field.

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