Lesson from a Super Bowl Coach

After nearly 40 years in healthcare leadership, I continue to believe that most healthcare leaders do not spend nearly enough time and energy learning from outside the healthcare field.  If you ask most healthcare leaders to be honest about what they read, the conferences they attend and the personal and professional development sessions in which they participate, you will find that most are very much within the healthcare arena.  Very little of most healthcare leaders’ ongoing development and education is outside the healthcare arena; this is not only unfortunate, it is personally and professionally limiting!


An article in the latest online Inc. publication (www.inc.com) provides good leadership food-for-thought from the world of professional football.  The article is titled 10 Leadership Lessons From a Super Bowl Coach.  The article provides specific detail and supporting background regarding each leadership lesson from New York Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin.  I encourage you to go to the article and read the detail.  The 10 leadership lessons listed in the article are as follows:


  1. Get the most out of the talent you have
  2. Run a strict meritocracy
  3. Encourage internal competition
  4. Spend hours scouting the competition
  5. Give underdogs an opportunity to shine
  6. Plan your game meticulously
  7. Get great at judging talent
  8. Emphasize the team over star players
  9. Master the art of bouncing back

10. Take all the luck you can get


These principles are not limited to the realm of spots – they can and should be applied to any area!  There is no question that time spent discussing these leadership lessons with your team will pay handsome dividends now and in the future, for all concerned.  The Super Bowl last Sunday was one of the most exciting games in recent history.  The game is currently on the minds, and is the talk of millions of people, including many of those on your team.


Take advantage of a golden opportunity (recent, fresh, relevant, and the current buzz of the sports world) to discuss these leadership lessons with your team.  Specifically discuss the relevancy and improvement potential of each of these leadership lessons within your organization.


Copyright © 2012 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership  –  www.nihcl.com

Founder, America’s Healthcare Leaders  –  www.americashealthcareleaders.com

Cell 214-695-1292

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