Life Meets Textbook: Top Ten Lessons From Nick Saban

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    Ken Boxer
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    After watching this week’s victory by the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, what follows are some leadership lessons I think you can learn from their victory, which apply to daily life, outside of football; including:

    1. Recruit top players, being clear to select players who are great at what they do, fit within your system, and fit within your culture
    2. Play the best players: sometimes leaders don’t make changes, out of the fear of the unknown or resting on your laurels. Playing the best players sends a message to everyone on the team to do their best
    3. Stay calm, don’t panic. Send a message of hope, that if the team executes on the fundamentals, good things will happen
    4. Don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions: obviously easier if you have the support from others in the organization.
    5. Prepare your people to step into challenging assignments. Remind your players to leverage the lessons they have learned
    6. Admit when you make mistakes or don’t execute well. Being honest about what is working and what’s not and be willing to make some changes, sends a powerful message to the entire team about what they need to do
    7. Look for a spark. Sometimes teams need some change to create momentum to help generate moving forward to accomplish goals. Believe in your people: once you make the decision to make a change, trust your judgment.
    8. Remind your team to be resilient, never give up, play the entire game. Do what they can do to win the game, controlling what they can control every play
    9. Demand that your top players are good teammates. I think Jalen Hurts reaction to being benched and his support of the new quarterback, was instrumental in having the back up quarterback perform spectacularly. The new quarterback did not feel like he was being judged by the starting quarterback, freeing him up to just perform
    10. Be genuinely happy for your team’s performance: Nick Saban said after the victory, that he was never happier after a football victory. It’s important to celebrate accomplishments, even small ones

    What is your reaction to this list?
    What did you think of the game?
    What are some other lessons you think we can all learn from how Nick Saban coached the college football national championship game?

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