As this Sunday’s BIG GAME fast approaches, I recalled an insightful article by recruitment industry “Hall of Famer,” Dr. John Sullivan, titled “10 Recruiting Lessons That You Can Learn From the Super Bowl.”
While the article is a few years old, Dr. Sullivan’s lessons that recruitment teams can learn from the Super Bowl, still ring true:
1) “Minor colleges” produce some of the best players on Super Bowl teams.
2) “Experience” isn’t required to become a Super Bowl head coach.
3) “Recruiting/draft systems” still need continuous improvement.
4) It takes organization-wide excellence to make the Super Bowl.
5) Don’t stereotype top performers.
6) Consider corporate alumni for rehiring.
7) Prioritize your positions and business units.
8) “The ability to handle pressure” is critical to make it to and win a Super Bowl.
9) It takes a competitive analysis to win championships.
10) It takes a performance culture to win consistently.
This year’s game brings the added dimension of two brothers coaching against one another for the first time in Super Bowl history. I thought this offered another lesson that business leaders can take away from the game in regards to how they manage their teams.
Both Jim and John Harbaugh obviously mirror one another in many ways, but the one similarity that I think every manager can learn from is how they both empower their players.
Both brothers believe in forging strong bonds with players and allowing team leaders to take charge of the locker room. John welcomes the leadership role that veteran Ray Lewis takes with the Ravens, while Jim is secure enough to let players speak their minds, as long as they keep their concerns within the team.
Players win games; not coaches and the same goes in business. It’s the team members that separate successful companies from the pack; not owners/managers. Once you’ve recruited your top talent, you need to trust/empower them to go out and make a great play.
We’ll see on Sunday, which Harbaugh’s players rise to that challenge.