Coaching to victory

Leadership can be learned by studying the effective coaching strategies of one of the winningest coaches in football history.  Here are five winning strategies.

On November 14, 1993, Don Shula, Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins, was carried off the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles. This win broke the long-standing record of 324 wins set by George Halas, and made Shula the winningest coach in history.

I'm an ex football player. I have respect for coaches. Shula is definitely a winner. How did he do it? "I don’t know any other way to lead but by example," Shula said. In their book Everyone's a Coach: Five Business Secrets For High-Performance Coaching Ken Blanchard and Don Shula translate Shula's winning leadership style into effective coaching strategies:

Conviction driven
Effective leaders stand for something. Being conviction-driven means doing the right things for the right reasons. As leaders, you need to decide what you stand for personally and professionally. We conduct surveys of employees in all types of foodservice operations, and it's amazing how many of them make comments about aimless management.

It's the old saying... Practice Makes Perfect. Employees complain, and they slack off in their duties and responsibilities. But as a good coach you need to encourage, and even require, that they give 100% every shift, everyday. The essence of coaching is the attention to details and the monitoring of results - these are what help leaders realize visions and accomplish goals.

Being audible-ready means being adaptable. Effective leaders and their teams are ready to change their game plan when the situation demands it. That's because they planned for the possibilities and practice what needs to happen ahead of time.

Effective leaders are predictable in their response to performance. To Shula, this means both good performance, and bad. It means paying attention to what is happening and responding accordingly. It means "Being Here Now."

Effective leaders and good coaches have high integrity. Ken Blanchard says that "In a competitive environment, where it seems anything goes, ethical considerations are often the first to be abandoned." Employees recognize this instantly, and one of two things happen. They move on to a better work environment, or they model the behavior.

Your team may be the ones who go out and perform on a daily basis, but as a coach, you have the opportunity to shape them into the winning team you envision.

For more inspiration, download some excerpts and quotes from Shula's and Blanchard's book.


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