Bottom Line, I had no skin in this game. As a matter of fact the team that I thought would win, is an arch nemesis to my Dallas Cowboys, whom I hope get their act together next season.
I told my wife, I had a feeling the eagles would pull it out. What a game though. That is exactly how a Super Bowl should be. A back and forth competition, a brutal fight all the way to the finish. You can’t hope for more than that.
HOWEVER, I did take away some great leadership lessons from the Eagles.
1. They Played to win, they didn’t play not to lose.
You might say, “of course they played to win!” However it is not uncommon for talented teams in every facet of life to get to a place of success and then try to merely maintain it. In other words play “not to lose.” Its a defensive, or even passive posture, that tries to keep the status quo. This is a sure way to lose. It creates a digression and almost always results in defeat. The eagles however from start to finish, came to win. They were aggressive, focused, and poised, and they never let off the gas. It was full blast all the way, they came to play. this is how we should approach business, career, ministry and every kind of leadership. We should know what we want, and, with passion go for it.
2. They understand the principle of the Power of “WE”.
They obviously have exchanged the “me” mindset for the “we” mindset. They all played like one unit. In every aspect and for every minute they played together. Even their conversation before and after the game. I know, every team talks like that, but this is different. Why? Because they proved it. Nick Foles is incredible and deserving of every accolade he gets, especially the MVP. However you don’t lose your franchise quarterback and several other incredible players to injury and still barrel through the playoffs into the Super Bowl and walk away as champs unless you are unified, connected, and playing for the greater cause of team. It wasn’t about any one individual, or a superstar. It was about “Fly Eagles Fly” This is such a powerful force that all teams in every aspect can benefit from. We play for each other. We submit our role to the overall goal. We realize that together we are better, faster, smarter, more effective and focused. That is the power of “We,” and they had it in spades.
3. They Rose to the Occasion:
There is a leadership concept called seizing the moment. Life is filled with opportunities, and one of the saddest things in life is when opportunity comes and a person is not prepared. There are a lot of reasons for this. Fear, laziness, lack of action, etc. And all of these options were available to the eagles in this situation. Especially for Nick Foles. He had every reason to feel like he was in over his head. He was the second string quarterback and to be honest was not expected to do as well as he did. He seized that opportunity with as much vigor and passion as anything I have ever seen. He never acted as if he didn’t belong, He even said, “we play all our lives for an opportunity like this, I just gave it my all.” He rose to the occasion and even exceeded expectations. Not only he, but the entire team.
4. They embraced the Big Picture:
Every single part of that team, offense, defense, special teams, and coaching staff, seemed to have the understanding that they were playing for something bigger. To prove a point maybe, to show the world what can be done if you give it everything you have. Whatever it was, it was more than just playing defense, it was more than just playing offense, it was more then just special teams or even coaching. It was even more than playing for the team or the city. They seemed to have a sense of destiny about them. That is what every organization needs. That WHY. That reason to exist, that reason to excel. It causes us to come together, and shoulder to shoulder carry the weight together to achieve something greater than us all.
5. They Took Timely Risks.
To go along with playing to win, they took timely risks. They never were on their heals. They were always moving forward. They took chances, like the trick play with Foles catching the touchdown pass, and turning the momentum of the game clearly towards the eagles. What a play, what a risk, but it paid off. What about going for it on fourth down, when they had plenty of time, and would have made more sense later in the game? It was worth the risk and kept them moving forward. Good leaders have a since that risks have to be taken, and they seem to have an uncanny ability to know when. They are not reckless or careless. They are calculated and perfectly timed. Could they fail? Sure, but a good leader can live with that, because they know its worth it, if they don’t. Most people think, “what if this doesn’t work?” Great leaders think, “What if this works.” To think that that the head coach of the eagles was coaching High school football just 9 years ago is amazing.
So those were the leadership lessons that I took away from the game last night. Each of these will help each of us as leaders grow our teams and organizations for the better. It is so fun to have a team that works like this.
Please comment if there were other things you took away, or if you have any questions about Gadberry leadership coaching and how we can help your organization.