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Posts tagged ‘New England Patriots’

4 Success Lessons from the Champion New England Patriots


The snow is coming down hard here (again) in the Boston area… the roads are terrible, schools are closed and my flight to a very valued client in Virginia was canceled by the airline.

All the makings of a very miserable Monday morning but somehow the sun shines bright and you can feel the positive energy in the air from the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory last night against the formidable Seattle Seahawks.

If you’re not from New England you may not be (likely are not) a big fan of the Patriots and that’s okay, it’s hard to be heroes without villains (queue maniacal laugh).

Despite personal feelings, everyone should admire and can learn from what the Patriots were able to accomplish this year – none more so than folks and organizations seeking greater success in the professional endeavors.

With that, here’s 4 Success Lessons from the New England Patriots I hope help you:

Lesson #1: It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish

As Patriots fans well know, the team did not start the season in championship form, losing the first two games of the season. As bad as that was, the fourth game of the season was worse, much worse as they were pummeled and embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs in a devastating  41-14 loss on Monday Night Football. At that time, critics had a field day saying, among many other things, that the Patriots winning ways were behind them and quarterback Tom Brady was a has-been.

During the post-game interview, coach Bill Belichick was asked about all this and emphatically replied, “We’re on to Cincinnati,” referring to their next game. The Patriots then won their next seven games.

In football as in life, it’s a long season. You will have setbacks. Put them behind you and move forward.

Lesson #2: Prepare To Win or Prepare To Lose To Somebody Who Is Prepared To Win

Legendary University of Alabama head coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, said, “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

It would be unfair to imply that every NFL team doesn’t prepare to win,  it’s their job after all, but Tom Brady takes this to a whole other level.

During a press conference a few years ago, coach Belichick commented on Brady’s preparation saying that he begins preparing for next week’s game on the way home from this week’s game. Think about that from a leadership standpoint… You can’t be the guy who moseys into practice on Tuesday when Tom Brady is already watching game films and strategizing for next week’s game immediately after Sunday’s game.. you better have your act together!

For more on Tom Brady’s remarkable preparation, see this excellent article from the December issue of Sports Illustrated > Given the way he prepares, Tom Brady won’t be slowing down anytime soon

Lesson #3: Stay Focused on the Goal

If you’ve been living on planet earth for the last month or so then you’re likely well aware of the whole “De-Flategate” debate.  So much has been said over the last couple weeks I won’t add to it here other than to say I think Rob Finnerty addressed it best here > This News Anchor Destroys “De-Flategate”. FINALLY!

Clearly, this was initially a huge distraction for the team, especially coach Belichick and Tom Brady who were the focus of the allegations. After assessing and addressing the situation several more than several times, they were able to successfully drown out the noise,  clear the heads and focus on the goal of winning the Super Bowl.

This is major success factor of high-achievers. It’s not that they don’t have challenges, obstacles and/or distractions. It’s that they’re able to focus on the goal and not let these hinder their success.

Lesson #4: Every Team Member Must Do Their Job

Coach Belichick’s “Do Your Job!” became the mantra that drove the team to the Super Bowl victory. All Patriots team members understood the vision, the expectations, the game plan and their role in it.  

Bill Belichick has referred to this as “Positive Leadership” where team members focus on 1) Doing their job and 2) Putting the team first.

Perhaps the best example of ‘doing your job’ was the game winning play when undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass on second-and-goal from the Patriots half-yard line to cap off an incredible 4th quarter comeback victory.

Malcolm Butler wasn’t  even part of the rotation to start the game. But, when called upon, he did his job and snatched victory literally from the hands of defeat.

In business, employees are either an asset or liability to the team.  They are either helping you win or hurting your chances of winning. Like the Patriots, leadership must effectively strategize and utilize the players who do their job and provide the best opportunity to win. 

NFL: Super Bowl XLIX-New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks

Congratulations to the New England Patriots, 2014 Super Bowl Champs!



Monday Morning Motivation: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

Brady & Ortiz

As you certainly know if you’re from the Boston area, and really should if you’re not, Sunday October 13th was an amazing day in New England sports. And that’s saying something given all the success Boston sports teams have had in the last dozen years or so.

First there was the New England Patriots playing the undefeated New Orleans Saints.  Trailing by four points 27-23, needing to drive 70 yards with 1:13 left in the game with no timeouts, the Patriots got the ball. With all signs pointing at defeat, fans were leaving the stadium and many made it to their vehicles to get out of dodge and avoid the looming agony of defeat. But then, when all seemed lost, a champion emerged victorious.

Tom Brady went to work advancing the team down the field and, with 10 seconds left in the game, had two plays to take a shot at the end zone. He would only need one as he launched a picture-perfect pass just over the reach of New Orleans defender Jabari Greer and into the hands of New England receiver Kenbrell Thompkins for the winning touchdown with just five ticks left on the clock.

It would have been easy to throw in the towel, concede defeat, and go home. But that’s not what champions are made of. And Tom Brady is the quintessential champion.

Suddenly, it was a great day in New England! Everyone had a pep in their step, reinvigorated by the high drama and the unmistakeable vibe of victory.

Then, as soon as that game ended, the Red Sox began their 2nd playoff game against their American League Championship Series opponent, the roaring Detroit Tigers. The first game was an epic pitchers duel, favoring the Tigers as their pitching staff, led by Anibal Sanchez, nearly threw a no-hitter allowing only 1 hit in the game and ultimately winning 1-0.

Game 2 was shaping up to be more of the same as the Tigers pitching was equally amazing with Max Schezer allowing just two hits and one run through seven innings and, along with a hitting offense, carried the Tigers to a commanding 5-1 lead entering the eighth.

Facing the abyss, many fans decided to bail and headed for an exit to get out of Fenway before the walking dead. But then, when all seemed lost, one big swing of the bat changed everything.

Facing Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit, David Ortiz smashed a game-tying Grand Slam out of the park.  One inning later the Red Sox’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a walk-off single that gave the Sox a 6-5 victory and tied the ALCS series at one game apiece.

An unbelievable one for the ages fairy-tale day in Boston sports that won’t soon be forgotten.

How many times have people (perhaps you) been facing challenges, been seemingly down and out, and given up? One thing is for sure, you cannot win if you quit during the game. After all, it ain’t over till it’s over.


Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

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