Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Sunday, November 4, 2012 – Bill Walsh
Bill Walsh’s Five Don’ts
“1. Don’t ask, “Why me?”
2. Don’t expect sympathy.
3. Don’t bellyache.
4. Don’t keep accepting condolences.
5. Don’t blame others.”
Four Leadership Tips From Bill Walsh from…
1. Making The Best Of What You Have
“What assets do we have right now that we’re not taking advantage of?”
E.g: Walsh took inventory of his Bengals’ struggling offense which was undersized (meaning running the ball was a big challenge) and not capable of passing for long yardage (quarterback Virgil Carter could not throw very far) (though he could throw decently for short yardage).
Walsh then took stock of what he had to work with in terms of field real estate and had an uh-huh realization that they had 53.5 yards of width on the field (about half the distance of the length of the field) and the availability of 5 potential receivers.
Thus the West Coast Offense was born: the idea of throwing more often, to more receivers, for short yardage.
2. Good Leaders Give a Healthy Mix of Positive Criticism (not just negative/constructive criticism).
“If you’re growing a garden, you need to pull out the weeds, but flowers will die if all you do is pick weeds. They need sunshine and water. People are the same.
They need criticism, but they also require positive substantive language and information and true support to truly blossom.”
3. Good Leaders Look For These Five Qualities In Their Hires
1. A fundamental knowledge of the area they’ve been hired to manage
2. A relatively high — but not manic — level of energy and enthusiasm and a personality that is upbeat, motivated and animated.
3. The ability to discern talent in potential employees.
4. An ability to communicate in a relaxed yet authoritative — but not authoritarian — manner.
5. Unconditional loyalty to both you and other staff members.
4. The Four Most Powerful Words In Leadership
“I believe in you” (or equivalent words of your own).
Walsh writes that even Joe Montana (who already had a bunch of confidence) benefited from his coach telling him he believed in him.
Providing confidence to your team is perhaps the most powerful lever you can pull to help them optimize their performance.
And Walsh adds: And nobody will ever come back to you later and say “thank you” for expecting too little of them.
“Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment.”
“If you are worthy of emulation, you have left an unbelievable legacy. He was a great coach, a great friend, and I’m going to miss him terribly.” Former coach Dick Vermeil at Coach Bill Walsh Memorial Service
“I came to the San Francisco 49ers with a specific goal – to implement what I call the Standard of Performance. It was a way of doing things, a leadership philosophy, that has as much to do with core values, principles, and ideals as with blocking, tackling, and passing; more to do with the mental than with the physical.”
“The culture precedes positive results. It doesn’t get tacked on as an afterthought on your way to the victory stand. Champions behave like champions before they’re champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners.”
“For me, the road had been rocky at times, triumphant too, but along the way I had never wavered in my dedication to installing – teaching – those actions and attitudes I believed would create a great team, a superior organization. I knew that if I achieved that, the score would take care of itself.”
“For me the starting point for everything – before strategy, tactics, theories, managing, organizing, philosophy, methodology, talent, or experience – is work ethic. Without one of significant magnitude you’re dead in the water, finished. I knew the example I set as head coach would be what others in the organization would recognize as the standard they needed to match (at least, most of them would recognize it). If there is such a thing as a trickle-down effect, that’s it. Your staff sees your devotion to work, their people see them, and on through the organization.”
“In building and maintaining your organization, place a premium on those who exhibit great desire to keep pushing themselves to higher and higher performance and production levels, who seek to go beyond the highest standards that you, the leader, set. The employee who gets to work early, stays late, fights through illness and personal problems is the one to keep your eye on for greater responsibilities.”
“All successful leaders know where we want to go, figure out a way we believe will get the organization there, and then move forward with absolute determination. We may falter from time to time, but ultimately we are unswerving in moving toward our goal; we will not quit. There is an inner compulsion – obsession – to get it done the way you want it done.”
“Victory is produced by and belongs to all. Winning a Super Bowl results from you whole team not only doing their individual jobs but perceiving that those jobs contributed to overall success. The trophy doesn’t belong just to a superstar quarterback or CEO, head coach or top salesperson. This is an essential lesson I taught the San Francisco organization: The offensive team is not a country unto itself, nor is the defensive team or the special teams, staff, coaches, or anyone in the organization separate from the fate of the organization. WE are united and fight as one; we win or lose as one.”
Wikipedia: Bill Walsh