Three Attributes Of A Successful CEO/Head Coach

February 11, 2023
Photo by Nguyen Thu Hoai on Unsplash

Starting out in a business as an owner and a CEO is very difficult. There are so many plates to spin, regarding finance, management, staffing, and most importantly your product.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities between starting up a business as there are becoming a head coach of an NFL team, especially ones that are driving their side toward Super Bowls on a regular basis.

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Both roles come with a lot of pressure and scrutiny and require management skills to motivate teams to produce the ultimate goal of success. Here are some of the top key characteristics that you need to secure success.

Accountability

It’s a key issue for a CEO or manager to have the skills to be accountable for their mistakes. No one should be above holding their hands up and admitting an error. If the people at the top of the business are going to take credit for their successes, the same must be said of the other side of the coin. This was the case in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and their head coach Nick Sirianni. He endured a baptism of fire during his first press conference with the Philadelphia media, where he stumbled his way through answers and did not look in command of the situation.

Sirianni was widely criticized and mocked for his performance. Rather than shirk the issue ahead of his team, he addressed it head-on and apologized for casting a negative outlook on the franchise. His players backed him to the hilt, and it helped form a bond between players and coach that has resulted in a charge toward the Super Bowl in Sirianni’s second season.

The Eagles are backed as the leading contenders in the Super Bowl odds to win the Vince Lombardi, which would be a massive achievement for Sirianni considering the point at which he started his reign. If you compare Sirianni’s first press conference to other coaches, you would have believed that he was doomed from the off and nowhere near the favorites for a Super Bowl clash against the Kansas City Chiefs. But, he held his hands up and accounted for his mistake and got the entire organization rallied behind him.

Strategy

Of course, all businesses need sound strategic minds. Whether you’re running Apple, Netflix, or a sports team, you need to have someone at the top that has a tactical approach to get the most out of the workforce and ensure that the product is firing on cylinders. In the NFL, it’s easy to see a sound tactical mind from one that is confused about their approach. For the 2022 season, the Denver Broncos hired Nathaniel Hackett after he served for four seasons as offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

Hackett was seemingly a good fit, especially with Russell Wilson in place following his trade from the Seattle Seahawks. However, Hackett and his system were a disaster for the Broncos. Denver’s offense was stagnant at best, despite possession at a lot of talent, with Wilson at quarterback and Jerry Jeudy at wide receiver among others.

Hackett also failed in his clock management skills, routinely making poor decisions under pressure. The Broncos were so staggeringly poor that Hackett failed to see out his first campaign. There are a lot of elements that can go wrong at the top, but a sound strategy will usually allow breathing room. It was clear from the off that Hackett’s ideas were not going to work in Denver, although he has landed elsewhere in the NFL back as an offensive coordinator.

Composure

Compare Hackett to Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Reid will be coaching in his fourth Super Bowl after his team defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. He has had to retool his offense after trading away Tyreek Hill and has had to cope with a number of injuries over the course of the season, including Patrick Mahomes’ high-ankle sprain. Even with all the issues, Reid has kept his side on the straight and narrow due to the focus.

It would have been very easy for the Chiefs to panic when Mahomes suffered an injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. But, Reid handled the situation perfectly by sending in backup Chad Henne to preserve his star man from further harm.

Henne with the instructions of Reid duly delivered a vital touchdown drive that would be crucial in guiding the Chiefs to victory. Reid displayed composure and adaptability under the greatest of pressures that could well define Kansas City as the next NFL dynasty. A lot of head coaches and CEOs across the world of business should look at the way Reid handled himself under the spotlight. It was a true moment of championship quality.

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