The Patriots training camp has begun and many of us are thinking about another Super Bowl championship. One doesn’t have to be very old to remember when the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots were names that were not said in the same sentence. The Packers, Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers were champions, but New England? Yet after three titles, we have come to expect a championship every year.
How did we get this way? Coach Bill Belichick has a philosophy that they will always build a team that competes for a championship. This is not a short term philosophy of win this year and worry about next year later, but a philosophy of winning now, while always keeping an eye on the future. A big part of this philosophy is talent acquisition.
The talent they go after is special. It is talent that fits with the Patriot’s belief system. Once assembled, the coach must then build a culture in the locker room that is in line with the philosophy of the organization. The culture of the locker room is key and everyone must buy into their overriding philosophy.
Belichick believes that the best players are going to play now, but that the team is always developing their players to be ready to play whenever they are needed. In a highly physical sport like football, players must always be ready to play.
Each player understands his job and his role. The team looks for competitive players who are mentally tough and who embrace the team’s philosophy. Players who do not share this philosophy go. The Patriot’s goal is simple: build a cohesive team because teams win championships.
So what can we learn from the Patriots? Four key points:
1. Organizations must have an overriding philosophy to guide them in how they operate their business.
2. All employees need to buy into this philosophy and hiring decisions must be based in part on whether the candidate can adhere to this philosophy. Any employee, new or current, who does not embrace the philosophy, must go.
3. All employees know their jobs and the roles they play in the organization.
4. The manager’s job is to put together the best available team for today, while simultaneously preparing for the future.
Remember, the Patriot’s philosophy of developing a team that can win today, while always preparing for the future, has proven to be quite successful. It works.
Excerpted from Dacri’s book, Uncomplicating Management, available at http://www.dacri.com/book_uncomplicating_management.htm