I have to admit it – I hate the Patriots. Maybe it’s because I’m a Bears fan and we haven’t won a Super Bowl in a long time, or perhaps it’s because I’m tired of watching Tom Brady hoisting the Lombardi trophy for what seems like the 100th time. As a coach though, I have nothing but respect for what they’ve accomplished. In the Brady era, the Patriots have been to 9 Super Bowls, winning 6 of them. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have a long and distinguished list of awards and hardware, and at 41 years old, Tom Brady is not only the greatest quarterback of all time, but also one of the most consistent and best athletes we’ve ever seen. It’s also easy to argue that Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, not only in football, but perhaps any sport. So, what does this have to do with business? There are all sorts of lessons that you as can learn from Brady and Belichick, that, when applied, will lead you to the same type of consistent success that they’ve had. I’ve put together what I believe at the top 8 that you can apply to take your business and yourself personally to the next level:
Lesson #1 – It’s All About The System
What makes the Patriots so successful is their system. They can plug and play almost any player into their system and be successful. In a league that is intentionally set up for parity, this is really the only way you can have continued success. The same thing holds true in a business. If you want to build a successful, scalable, and consistent business, you need to have two solid systems – a client acquisition system, and a client fulfillment system. When you have those two things in place, you can have consistent success and not have to rely solely on the skills and talents of your people. In fact, I always tell my clients that 95% of the issues in a business are due to a system problem, and 5% of the time they are due to a people issue. Most business owners think exactly the opposite to be true, and that’s why they don’t have consistent success.
Lesson #2 – Know The Competition
Both Belichick and Brady are obsessed with knowing the competition. Tom Brady studies film and player tendencies for hours every day, and Bill Belichick is well known for understanding his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. He’s an expert at taking away the other team’s strength, and also exploiting their greatest weakness. Whether you are a corporate executive, a sales person, or a business owner, understanding your competition and exploiting their weaknesses while taking away their strengths will help you take your game to the next level.
Lesson #3 – It’s All About Focus
Focus is the lack of distractions. What makes Tom Brady so great is all he focuses his time on, outside of his family, is football. He’s obsessed with it. Belichick is the same way. In fact, what makes his system work so well is that he takes average players, figures out what they are really good at, and just has them focus on that – over and over again. This type of focus turns average players into outstanding players. In business, you can do the same thing. Through focus you can learn more and more about less and less, and develop a level of expertise that makes you incredibly valuable. You can also get the most out of your team by having them focus on what they do best.
I believe that we live in a world of dabblers. Most people have a short attention span and lose focus at the first sign of resistance. If you can learn to focus and develop a level of mastery with respect to what you do, you’ll be tremendously valuable to your business and to your customers.
Lesson #4 – Health, Fitness, And Energy Level
Tom Brady is 41 years old and has been playing in the NFL for 19 seasons! That’s crazy. Considering that the average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years, this is an amazing feat. So, how does he do it? He’s meticulous about his health and fitness. He has a team of experts that tell him what to eat and how to work out so that he’s in peak physical condition. He also plays smart, and avoids taking hits by getting rid of the football before he’s touched. In fact, during this year’s playoffs, he only got sacked one time. One of the keys to his success is that he almost never misses games, and also is healthy enough to play at age 41, and wants to continue playing until he is 45!
So, why is this important to you? I have a saying, “wherever you go, there you are”. You can’t escape yourself. If you are out of shape, have low energy, and suffer from poor health and fitness, this will manifest itself in all areas of your life – including your business and professional life. If you want to have consistent success over a long period of time, you have to master this area.
Lesson #5 – Master The Power Of Mindset
Tony Robbins says that 80% of success comes down to your mindset, and 20% comes from your strategy. The New England Patriots win so often because they expect to. Their entire organization, from top to bottom, believes in winning. In their 6 Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady successfully executed 6 game winning drives to win those games. He’s clutch. Just like Michael Jordan. Give him the ball and a little time, and he knows he’s going to win. And, the other team knows it as well, which is a huge advantage.
In my experience as a coach, it’s all about your mindset. Almost everyone knows what to do. It’s the people that execute that have success, and execution all comes down to mindset. So, if you can master your mindset, you’re going to be a consistent winner.
Lesson #6 – Great Leaders Anticipate What’s Next
Bill Belichick always has a plan A, B, C, D and E. He anticipates what may go wrong, and always has an alternative play in his bag of tricks. He knows the competition so well, as does Tom Brady, that he can predict what they will do next. When Tom Brady looks at the defense before the ball is snapped, he anticipates what they are doing to do, and changes the play if necessary.
In business, great leaders anticipate what’s coming next, and act accordingly. By anticipating what’s coming next, you can figure out the best plan of action, as well as when to pivot to a different plan when needed. This is a crucial skill to have if you want to be successful.
Lesson #7 – Details, Details, Details
If you want to be the best, you have to focus on the details. Think about it. What’s the difference between being an Olympic gold medal winner vs. a silver medal winner? Usually about one-tenth of a second. Oftentimes, winning a Super Bowl comes down to one or two plays. In fact, in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks had a chance to win the game at the goal line. Instead, the pass was picked off by Malcolm Butler of the Patriots. After the game, Butler talked about how Belichick had him practice jumping the wide receiver on that exact play over and over again.
Anticipating What’s Next + Attention to Details = Super Bowl Championship
The bottom line – if you want to be successful at the highest level of whatever it is you do, you have to pay attention to the details.
Lesson #8 – Great Coaching Creates Champions!
You want to know the main reason Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are so great? Great coaching! Bill Belichick is a master at coaching and getting the most from his players. Just like in sports, great coaching can take you and your business to the next level. There’s a reason that 75% of corporate CEOs now work with a coach. It works! So, if you want to take yourself and your business to the next level, need a coach.
If you want to discover the power of coaching, I invite you to sign up for a Business Breakthrough Coaching Session with me. Simply click on this link and fill out the form, and we can set up a time to meet.
If you apply these 8 lessons to your business, you’ll quickly take your results to the next level! Good luck!