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Punching above your weight – lessons from Vince Lombardi
Last weekend, in Atlanta Georgia, the New England Patriots won a record equalling 6th Superbowl. A landmark achievement especially for key player Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick. The Superbowl trophy is named after the Pioneering coach Vince Lombardi who in the 1960’s set the standards for modern day coaches to aspire to.
Lombardi’s secret to success was rooted in his leadership skills, his ability to motivate players and inspire them to surpass their own perceived physical and mental capabilities. His philosophy was based on simple building blocks, self-knowledge, building your character and developing the attributes for success. So what lessons can we learn from Vince Lombardi and how do they apply to the modern business world.
Lesson 1 – Ask yourself tough questions
His focus on self-knowledge was based on his mantra “you can’t improve what you don’t understand”. Developing character requires a focus on building integrity, honesty and commitment. Lombardi encouraged his charges to get to know themselves and discover a purpose they may have overlooked. He implored them to learn from failure and to get a clear destination in mind rather than heading all out for an unknown end point.
Lesson 2 – Look the truth straight on
Goals built on anything other than the truth are bound to fail. People can spot a fake leader so start with being truthful with yourself and then with others. In our 24-hour connected world we should expect to be observed as leaders, so authenticity is key. Trust your instincts and act in line with your values, at all times!
Lesson 3 – Play to your strengths
What are yours, do you know? What is it you are innately good at? What have you practised and become great at? Your strengths are like a guide to lead you down the right path towards success. Lombardi used the phrase practice continuous renewal, in other words ongoing, disciplined self-examination helps to internalise what you are learning about yourself and allows you to play to your strengths.
Lesson 4 – Write your character
When combined with capability and good habits, our character is like our leadership compass, helping us stay on the right track. It is the core of who you are and has great power. Finding your character can be done in many ways. What have you learned from hardship and setbacks? What are your personal values and life
principles? Who do you admire and why? It is likely the attributes in someone who inspires you are not a million miles away from those you possess.
Lesson 5 – Think big picture
What is your big picture? What is your personal vision? Have you discovered your WHY? It is important to understand answers to these questions and keep your own big picture at the forefront of your conscious mind. Do you set goals linked to your personal vision? If not, it is often easy to jettison them when the going gets tough. Are you flexible and able to change? Do you get side-tracked by minor setbacks?
Lombardi said, “the difference is knowing what you want and knowing what the end is supposed to look like. If you don’t know what the end is supposed to look like, you won’t know it when you see it”
Becoming a Pioneering Leader
At Zentano, our end goal is to create pioneering leaders and we will be writing more about this in the weeks to come. Our Pioneer Programme has been developed to help you learn some valuable insights and techniques to be a great leader.
To contact us and find out more about how to become a Pioneering Leader please click here.
Vince Lombardi was all about creating great teams, so let’s leave him with the final word. “Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence upon one another, and of strength to be derived from unity”
Andy Flack, Dave Morris and Rich Horton