October 2011


A lot of guys self-select out of the league.  How long does it take to self-select out of the league?  It depends on the amount of things you’re missing.  If you’re just missing one key element of twelve, I’m going to say it takes quite a bit longer but it does get you in the long run.  But if you’re missing four or five a guy’s playing  two or three years and that’s it.

This is coming from a guy who played 14 years in the league and has been an NFL commentator for several years.  What do I take from this?  Steve Young knows what it takes to be successful in the NFL on and off the field.  If you are in the position of evaluating talent and making personnel decisions that involve key players on your team you have to know what it takes to be successful.  There is no other way to equip a person for success.  How do you know if the person is making the right improvements?  How do you know when to coach them and what to coach them on?

Documenting the characteristics that lead to success in any job is not glamorous.  I’m sure Steve Young hasn’t done it.  Neither did Bill Walsh or any other great coach.  However, it might make the difference maker your staff needs you to do.  That’s an under appreciated aspect of leadership.

I can’t link directly to the interview.  Click here to access the broadcast archive.  The interview date is October 21st.

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Steve Young has some interesting insights on Tim Tebow’s start this week.

He’s going to run around, he’s creative, he’s resilient, he’s smart.  He’ll figure stuff out.  He doesn’t have the ability to drop in the pocket and throw the ball but he’s going to figure stuff out.  I worry that he can’t do the job.  The job is to throw the ball from the pocket in a pro game.  He has not shown that he can do this.

This is an important insight because it boils the job down to its essence.  People talk a lot about leadership and intangibles when it comes to the being an NFL quarterback.  But if a player can’t master the basics those qualities don’t matter.  Can you describe your job or the job of those you supervise in a single sentence?

If you’re going to play him and have some success you better be running the Florida offense.  You have to find ways to do that in the pro game.  Spread it out.  Use the shotgun.  Option fake…If you’re going to have Tim Tebow on your team, embrace who you drafted.  Take the opportunity to give him the offense and give him the best opportunity to succeed.

How do you enable him to succeed?

Give him every opportunity to do the things that he’s comfortable with.  Change the system in the next two weeks to make sure you have all the packages that, maybe 30 plays he can run and feel really comfortable with and really succeed at and see what happens.

How often do we throw a new person into a roll without a plan to help them succeed?  We don’t take the time to consider whey we chose them in the first place.  We don’t give them a chance to experience success.  We don’t build up their confidence.  We don’t look at their strengths and build on them.  Learning a new job takes time.  A person can only have long-term success if they have confidence.  This can only happen if a person feels like they can succeed.  My advice to supervisors is to find a way to give a new employee success early.

In the rest of the interview the hosts discuss Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.  If you love football I think you will enjoy what he has to say.  If you hang on until the end you’ll hear an interesting story about Al Davis.