What You Can Learn about Employee Engagement from the Super Bowl

When marketers think of the Super Bowl, they usually focus on the advertisements. After all, millions of dollars and months of planning go into making a Super Bowl ad. Brands vie to get their message across effectively – to memorable and get people talking. While most of the post-Superbowl chatter from the business world will focus on who won and who lost with their commercials, we noticed something about this game that didn’t get as much attention as it deserves: how strong leadership and team engagement put you in position to win.

All great organizations have one thing in common: their employees are engaged in meeting the goals, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately making the organization successful (or profitable.) That is true for businesses and non-profits, as well as for sports teams. Even though we here in Atlanta may not like the outcome of Super Bowl LI, you must admit that Bill Belichick, Head Coach for the Champion New England Patriots, is a great coach.

The New England Patriots have engaged employees (players, coaches and staff), insanely loyal customers (fans), and are successful, both in championships as well as financially. So, what can we learn from their Coach?

  1. Belichick is known for recruiting not just great talent, but more importantly talent that will fit into his team, and with his style of coaching. Hiring decisions are not one-size fits all proposition, but many companies are very slow to admit to and act on a bad hiring decision.

     

    “There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”

    Bill Belichick

  2. Belichick is also known for keeping it simple with his “Do Your Job!” motto. He makes very clear what he wants his players to do. Engaged employees also know what they need to do, because they understand the strategic direction and goals of the business.

     

    Whatever success I’ve had it is because I’ve tried to understand the situation of the player. I think the coach’s duty is to avoid complicating matters.

    Bill Belichick

  3. Belichick is known for positioning his players to succeed. Just as every employee is not a fit for all businesses, each of your employees may not be equally good at everything you need them to do. Find out how to get the most – and the best – from each and every employee.

     

    “Tell me what the guy can do, don’t tell me what he can’t do, and we’ll find a way to put that positive skill set in the defense and not ask him to be in a position where he can fail.”

    Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is a great coach. But it takes two great teams to make a Super Bowl for the ages (as this one was), and Atlanta Falcon Head Coach Dan Quinn is also a great leader. His focus on team culture (around the theme of Brotherhood) have made the Falcons into a team who will bring championships our way in future Super Bowls.

No doubt the Super Bowl has showcased some of the best and most memorable television advertising in our time. However, even more important are the lessons we can learn about leadership – no matter who you’re rooting for!

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