What Is Leadership?
Legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, defined leadership on and off the field. From Vince Lombardi, leadership was something he lived. It was in his blood. It was the way he talked, walked and lived his life.
Leadership was a characteristic that coach Lombardi preached to his team and that helped him win multiple championships.
The dictionary describes leadership as an act of leading, giving guidance and or direction to another.
I believe this direction and guidance help propel people to greatness. You can learn further how to become a better leader by reading about Monday Morning Leadership.
Who was Vince Lombardi?
Do not be surprised that not everyone is a football fan. But that does not change the fact that Vince Lombardi knew what it took to be number one. His team saw him as a great leader and they followed his direction and won countless times.
Lombardi understood what it takes to win games on the field. He inspired his team by having the ability to lead by example. This leadership approach is one that many of today’s top business leaders continue to learn from.
Only recently did I picked it up and read it. For more than 10 year the book sat on my book shelf.
What It Takes To Be Number One, was written by his son, Vince Lombardi, Jr. Lombardi, JR explains the leadership style that made his dad a success and a household name. Lombardi Jr, reviews the rules his dad lived by. How he thought leadership. What his standards were for his life as well as his expectations.
Why You Need to Read This Book
I am not a big football fan but had heard of Vince Lombardi. I purchased the book, “What it takes to be number one” over 10 years ago. The only thing I knew about Vince Lombardi was that he coached the world champion Green Bay Packers.
When I pick up the book, I found out he was a great leader in life. He used his leadership skills to train his team
As I read this book I found many of the championship principles of leadership could also be found in boo like, The 5 Pillars of Leadership.
As I review each chapter in the book you will understand the importance of leading by example. Your daily habits will dictate what your leadership style in management is and untimely if you will be a successful leader.
The principles in the book are qualities Vince Lombardi thought his team. He was trying to make men on and off the field. He expected nothing less of his students.
As you study the success principles from each chapter you will see leadership principles to emulate and incorporate into your own life.
What it Takes to Be #1
Chapter 01 – Lombardi on Lombardi
- If you screw up; you pay the consequences.
- When you have a meeting, focus on exchanging information and decisions. Once a decision is made it is final.
- The difference between success and failure is in the hands of the player.
Chapter 02 – The Vince Lombardi Leadership Model
- People want to be independent and dependent, at the same time.
- Leadership is the ability to direct people and – more important – to have those people accept direction.
- Know yourself and who you are.
- Build your character on your believes.
- Earn your stripes and don’t cheat yourself out of valuable life lessons.
- Think big picture not short-term.
- Leaders are made, not born.
Chapter 03 – Self Knowledge: The First Step to Leadership
- Make decisions based on your understanding of who you are.
- Leadership begins with Self-Knowledge.
- Self-knowledge come from self-discovery.
- You can’t build a team that’s different from yourself.
- As you suffer, you can grow wiser.
- Find your own tools.
- To realize purpose, you must go outside yourself.
- Link goal to your purpose.
- Ask yourself tough questions every day.
- Know what set the spark off inside you.
- Do you know the difference between purpose and career?
Chapter 04 – Character and Integrity
- Character is learned from people around us, our heroes and our role models.
- Write your character, do not let others tell you who you are.
- Find the truth for your purpose.
- Act; don’t react.
- Study the past; live in the present.
- Have faith that everything will work out.
- Be proud but humble.
- Search out and destroy prejudice at work or in life.
- Cultivate true compassion for what you do.
Chapter 05 – Developing Winning Habits
- Your focus is not on what is happening to you, but on what you think is happening to you.
- Own your personal habits. Learn success habits, Click here.
- Use your courage to grow your leadership.
- Embrace your passion for life.
- Be prepared to sacrifice everything you need to for your dream or goals.
- When you commit to something, you cut away all other possibilities, all other options.
- Demand total commitment of yourself and your team.
- Weed out the uncommitted members on your team
- Work at being the best leader to the people in your business.
- Be disciplined on and off the field.
- Be mentally tough.
Chapter 06 – Teaching, Coaching, and Leading
- Far too often, we become aware of the present only as it becomes the past.
- As a leader, you can’t be one person in private and someone else in public.
- Be authentic.
- Earn trust through investment of your time in others.
- Leadership is what people do when no one tells you what to do.
- Use your mission to find your purpose in business.
- Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.
- Create a shared vision on your team.
- Align your values with your actions.
- Know your stuff.
- Generate confidence in your ability to lead a team.
- Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.
- Chase perfection.
- The leader and a sales person must find each person’s “hot button”
- Live what you teach.
- Find balance.
Chapter 07 – Building the Winning Organization
- Pick the right organization to work with.
- Demand autonomy.
- Respect authority.
- Delegate the second-tier stuff.
- Check your hat at the door. We are all equal.
- Figure out which hat you need to wear, and figure out how long you need to wear it for.
- Be brilliant, but don’t be stubborn about it.
- …Trade for players (employees) who already knew you and understand your system.
- Build your skills and the skills of your team.
- Let ‘em see you sweat.
- Leaders do not give everyone a vote, but should give everyone a voice.
- Build team spirit.
- Innovate without complication
Chapter 08 – Motivating the Team to Extraordinary Performance
- Success is based upon a spiritual quality, a power to inspire others.
- Your job as a leader is to give people what they want.
- Offer people meaning with your positive words.
- Keep the expectation high.
- Motivate the group.
- Counter expectations.
- Motivate individuals.
- When you win respect; affection will follow.
- Motivate to gain inches.
- Go where the wisdom is. This is a true quality of a leader.
Chapter 09 – Vince Lombardi on Winning
- Run to win.
- Beware the power of quotability.
- Yesterday doesn’t matter; we’re only winners if we win today.
- Winning is the only thing – But only in context.
- Try to win them all – But play by the rules. Find new prospects or ways to win.
- Be a good winner and a good loser.
- Block and Tackle your competition.
- Play and jump on opportunity that present themselves.
- Play for elegance, but take any win you can get.
- Tradition is a powerful reason to play.
- Understand the dangers of winning and losing.
- Embrace paradox
- Talent is not only a blessing; it is a burden, as the gifted one will soon find out
- If there was a play, you ran it. If there was a rule, you obeyed it.
- As a leader, you have no excuse to fail your team.
- Build accountability on your team.
- Treasure your legacy.
What It Takes to Be Number one, is a great read for any football fan or anyone studying leadership. This is one of those books you pick up once a year and study from. The principles outlined in each chapter will help you grow as a person, a leader, business partner and manager.
When you apply the principles of leadership, you notice you become a stronger leaders and coach.
What is the job of a leader?
I suggest reading this book a few times to understand this answer. Apply the principles and teach them to others on your team, in your family or in your personal circle of friends.
Each principal Vince Lombardi applied to his life made him a successful coach, friend, husband and dad.
Further reading on Leadership
- How to be People Smart
- Build a successful mindset
- Learn how to communicate effectively
- How to be an effective salesperson
- How to win friends and influence people
What one leadership principle did you take from this article and how will you apply the information to lead your team more effectively?
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